Virginia's Space Bill Passes Senate

Hot news out of Richmond via Jack Kennedy, Esq., on the Commonwealth of Virginia's pioneering, pro-space legislation, the Spaceflight Immunity and Liability Act (HB 3184): the state Senate today passed the bill unanimously, 40 to zero.

Thus, the nation's first state law covering immunity from tort liability for commercial space launch operators and authorizing assumption of risk waivers for suborbital spaceflight participants has unanimously zoomed through both houses of the Virginia legislature.

Next the measure goes back to the House to accept the minor
amendments --the Committee made two technical changes for specific state code references and added a sunset clause -- July 1, 2012 (which should make the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association happy). Finally, the bill goes to Governor Tim Kaine for his consideration.

Congratulations to state delegate Terry Kilgore and Virginia on moving this along. (See Jack's blog,
Spaceports for more background; also my post here on the House's earlier passage of the bill.)

Will this vanguard legislation out of Richmond serve as a magnet to attract commercial suborbital spaceflight business to Virginia's Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA Wallops Flight Facility? Will it bring jobs and space investment capital to the area? It sure gives the state a running start into our nation's commercial space future. One other thing is clear, Virginia is one state that is not afraid to make history.
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(Jack, thanks for the updates, etc. I owe you the DVD of The Astronaut Farmer. And a bucket of popcorn. ;)

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