More space law wanted!

Which state will be the first to follow the lead of the Commonwealth of Virginia and enact its own spaceflight immunity law? California, Florida, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas?

Flight International has a short article this week that wasn't exactly surprising. The Personal Spaceflight Federation wants a law like Virginia's Spaceflight Liability and Immunity Act enacted in all states with their own commercial spaceports.

Alex Tai, PSF chairman and of course chief operating officer of Virgin Galactic is quoted as saying, "We are planning for the day we are in court. We need the right legislation and the right insurance."

Agreed. Of course, "in court" is last place the personal spaceflight industry needs to be. If it happens, hopefully it will later rather than sooner. As we say here on SLP, building the space vehicles should be the hard part.

(By the way, the article refers to Virginia's ground-breaking immunity act as "new legislation that Virginia's state legislature is in the process of approving." In fact, the process is complete:
it is the law, effective July 1, 2007.)

When it comes to -- yuck -- law, especially for folks with that libertarian spirit who are most attracted to the commercial spaceflight industry, less is usually more than enough. But in light of as-yet unsettled and potentially industry-crippling liability issues, more law is in order. And no doubt about it, more state space law is sure to come.

(Hat tip: Hobbyspace.)

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