The New Mexico House has unanimously approved a proposal to limit the liability of spacecraft manufacturers and their suppliers in order to bolster the state’s developing space travel industry.
An identical bill has passed the Senate, and Republican Gov. Susana Martinez said she backs the proposal.
Virgin Galactic plans to fly tourists into space from New Mexico’s $200 million-plus spaceport. A 2010 law protects British billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic as a space travel operator from being sued in most cases by passengers or their families if there is an accident during a flight.
The legislation will extend liability limitations to suppliers and manufacturers of spacecraft and their components.
Lawmakers said the liability shield is needed to attract space industry companies to New Mexico.