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“limited liability laws”
Georgia Senate Passes Spaceflight Limited Liability Measure

The Georgia Senate has passed a limited liability law for human spaceflight as part of an effort to establish a spaceport in Camden County. Other states seeking to get in on the growing commercial space industry have adopted legislation requiring plaintiffs to prove “gross negligence” in order to collect damages, a tougher standard than “ordinary negligence,” and Georgia should do the same in order to compete for space business, said […]

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  • February 6, 2017
FAA Officials Stress Need for Liability Law in Georgia

FAA officials were in Georgia this week telling lawmakers the state needs to pass liability laws shielding spaceflight companies from lawsuits from injured passengers and their heirs if it wants to compete with other states. “In states like Florida and Texas that have a law, that is the statute a federal judge is going to look at,” Dan Murray, a manager with the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, told […]

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  • August 25, 2016
Commercial Human Spaceflight Industry Lightly Regulated

faa_logoPart 4 of 6

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

U.S. regulations for commercial human spaceflight give the wide latitude to develop and fly their launch systems while providing substantial protections about being sued for injuries and deaths resulting from accidents. What follows is is a brief summary of the provisions, most of which have been in place since December 2004.

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  • March 15, 2016
Georgia House Passes Space Flight Act

georgia_state_sealThe Georgia House of Representatives has approved a bill that would prevent spaceflight participants and their heirs from suing spaceflight providers and equipment suppliers for injuries and deaths except in limited circumstances.

The Georgia Space Flight Act would require passengers to sign an agreement waiving their rights before stepping aboard a spacecraft. The protections would not apply if a participant’s injury or death were caused by a “space flight entity’s gross negligence evidencing willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the space flight participant; or intentionally caused by a space flight entity.”


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  • March 1, 2016
Senate Holds Up Commercial Space Bill

Although House and Senate negotiators have worked out differences between different versions of commercial space bills, final approval is being held up over liability provisions that one representative called “indefensible”: Sources familiar with the status of the bill said that one or more senators placed a hold on the bill Oct. 29, preventing the bill from moving forward there. No senators have publicly announced that they have blocked consideration of […]

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  • November 6, 2015
Spaceflight Liability Changes Advance in California Legislature
State Sen. Steve Knight

State Sen. Steve Knight

The California State Senate is moving forward with changes to a law that limits the liability of spacecraft operators and their suppliers for any injuries or deaths they cause to participants.

The measure, sponsored by State Sen. Steve Knight (R-Lancaster), would require spacecraft operators to enter into a “reciprocal waiver of claims with its contractors, subcontractors, customers, participants, and contractors and subcontractors of the customers or participants” to hold each other blameless in the event of an incident.


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  • January 21, 2014
Arizona Legislature Considers Limited Liability Bill for Space Companies

Arizona is looking to emulate its neighbor, New Mexico, by passing a bill protecting space companies from being sued for injuring or killing passengers: A bill at the Arizona Legislature would give space flight companies — yes space flight companies — protections against being sued. The measure is aimed at helping possible space tourism and commercial space flights being planned in southern parts of the state. House Bill 2163 creates […]

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  • January 18, 2014
Steve Knight Weighs Run for Congress
State Sen. Steve Knight

State Sen. Steve Knight

California State Sen. Steve Knight (R-Palmdale), a key supporter of commercial space, says he will run for Congress next year in the 25th District should the current office holder, Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-Santa Clarita), decides to retire, the Antelope Valley Press reported today.

McKeon, 75, has not announced his plans, but there is widespread speculation in political circles that he will elect to step down next year rather than seek another two-year term, the newspaper reported.

The state senator, whose father William J. “Pete” Knight flew the X-15 rocket plane, has been a key backer of commercial space measures in the California Legislature. He introduced a limited liability bill designed to protect commercial space providers from passenger lawsuits that was approved with revisions. He also has introduced several other commercial space bills now being considered by legislators.


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  • December 4, 2013
ISPCS: Alan Ladwig Talk

ispcs_logoKeynote Address
Alan Ladwig
Chief, To Orbit Productions


Back from lunch at #ISPCS with @SpaceArtAl talking about risks and rewards of commercial spaceflight industry. (Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust)

Alan Ladwig says he’s consulting with a new, as yet unannounced group that plans to do comm’l spaceflight participant training. (Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust)

#ISPCS – Alan Ladwig – is he holding back? No, Alan has been set free to tell us what he really thinks!  (Wayne Hale ‏@waynehale )


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  • October 18, 2013
California Legislators Water Down Spaceflight Informed Consent Measure

By Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

California legislators have significantly watered down a proposed law that would have held human spacecraft operators, manufacturers and suppliers not liable for injuries or deaths sustained by passengers if the participant signed an informed consent agreement acknowledging the inherent danger of their flights.

Under amendments to the bill, companies would have “limited civil liability” even if they were not grossly negligent or intentionally caused injuries. Legislators have also removed vehicle manufacturers and component suppliers from coverage under the measure.


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  • August 13, 2012