Space Legislation Advances in Texas, New Mexico

Texas State Rep. Rene Oliveira has introduced legislation that would allow for the closing of public beaches to accommodate space flight activities. The bill is designed to support operations at the launch facility that SpaceX is considering building near Brownsville.

The legislation requires special approval of the General Land Office for any launch dates on:

  • the Saturday or Sunday preceding Memorial Day;
  • Memorial Day
  • July 4
  • Labor Day
  • a Saturday after Memorial Day but before Labor
    Day; or
  • a Sunday after Memorial Day but before Labor Day.

Over in New Mexico a revision of the state’s spaceflight informed consent law passed a key hurdle when the Senate Public Affairs Committee approved the House version of the legislation.

Both houses passed identical bills by unanimous margins, but each half must approve both bills before the measure is sent to Gov. Susana Martinez for signature.

The Senate action occurred a day after Gov. Martinez and Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides urged legislators to finish work on the measure. The legislative session ends on March 16.