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DeSantis signs bill limiting liabilities of private spaceflight companies

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a spaceflight bill on Thursday that protects companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin from legal liability if crew members or passengers are injured or killed during missions. .

The Spaceflight Entity Liability Bill, or CS/SB 1318, was one of 27 bills he signed a day after he launched his campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination at from a Twitter event with its owner, Elon Musk, who is also the CEO of SpaceX. .

The new law effectively protects SpaceX and other commercial space companies from lawsuits in the event that someone on their rockets or capsules is seriously injured or killed.

The bill now requires crew members and passengers to acknowledge the risks of spaceflight by signing a waiver containing the following statement: “WARNING: Under Florida law, there is no liability in injury or death of a participant or crew during a spaceflight activity provided by a spaceflight entity if such injury or death results from the spaceflight activity.

Injuries can include damage to land, people, equipment and animals, in addition to “the possibility that you acted negligently which could contribute to your injury or death,” according to the bill.

An analysis of the bill by the Florida Senate found that it “has the potential to limit the cost of litigation for companies engaged in spaceflight activities.”

Florida’s “Space Coast,” or the area around NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, has been a hot spot for commercial space activity, as companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin are looking to expand launch services for government and the private sector.

Aerospace activities contribute about $17.7 billion in revenue to Florida’s economy, according to Space Florida, a government agency that aims to promote aerospace economic development statewide.

The Spaceflight Entity Liability Bill was sponsored by Republican Senator Tom Wright and passed unanimously in the state Senate and with little debate in the Florida House.


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