Space Flight Liability Bill Grounded in New Mexico

February 9, 2012

Members of the New Mexico House and Senate have likely shelved for this session an effort to exempt spacecraft manufacturers from legal liability in case space flight passengers are injured in future space flights from Spaceport America.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the House Business and Industry Committee voted 6-5 Tuesday to hold the bill. Earlier in the day, the Senate Judiciary Committee took no action on a similar bill.

Spaceport America officials have requested the extra legal protection through 2018.

They say it’s necessary to attract new aerospace parts suppliers to establish their operations near Las Cruces at the developing Spaceport.

Officials say at least two major companies may otherwise choose to go elsewhere like Texas, Florida or Virginia, where parts manufacturers are not held liable for death or injury when their products malfunction during commercial space travel.

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