Law will boost California's space travel industry

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Space Shuttle Endeavour cruises above LA

Space Shuttle Endeavour takes a joy ride over LA (Photo credit: Maggie McKay)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – With the space shuttle Endeavour’s final flight capturing the attention of Californians, Gov. Jerry Brown announced he had signed legislation intended to boost the fledgling private space travel industry.

Brown said Friday he had signed the bill by Republican Assemblyman Steve Knight, which limits private space companies’ liability from civil lawsuits.

Under AB2243, the companies cannot be held liable for the injury or death of customers because of the obvious risks associated with space travel. They still can be sued in cases of gross negligence or willful disregard for participants’ safety.

The bill also does not limit the ability to sue parts manufacturers.

Brown said the legislation will allow companies such as SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and the Spaceship Company “to innovate and explore without the worry of excessive liability.”

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