New Mexico Spaceflight Informed Consent Measure Clears Legislature

WhiteKnightTwo is the "mothership" that carries SpaceShipTwo aloft before launch. The pair will carry paying passengers on a wild ride to suborbital space in years to come. Some observers predict flights will begin as early as 2013. Others caution the first tourists in space may have to wait a few more years. (Credit: David Wilson, Spaceport America)
WhiteKnightTwo at Spaceport America. (Credit: David Wilson, Spaceport America)

An extension of New Mexico’s spaceflight informed consent law has cleared the Legislature, clearing the way for Gov. Susana Martinez to sign it.

The measure extends liability protections to spacecraft manufacturers and suppliers in the event that passengers are injured or killed in spaceflight.

Virgin Galactic has threatened to pull out of a 20-year lease on Spaceport America if the protections were not extended. The company is both a manufacturer and operator of space vehicles. Virgin Galactic also said the legislation is needed to attract other tenants to the spaceport.