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DeSantis signs bill to protect SpaceX from crew safety lawsuits

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill that essentially provides legal protection for private space companies in the event of injury or death of a crew member during their flights.

Astronaut liability billthat was signed the law on Thursday will release space companies “from liability for injury or death of crew as a result of space flights under certain circumstances.” Space companies are required.”for the crew to sign a specific warning statement,” the bill is reading.

The law would essentially protect companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin from civil lawsuits relating to the welfare of their crew members. DeSantis signed the bill the day after announcing his presidential campaign via a buggy livestream with Musk on Twitter Spaces.

Florida is home to several launch pads used for commercial rocket launches, and the state seems to want to keep its space billionaires happy. The space industry is developing at a rapid pace, opening the Earth’s orbit to wealthy citizens who are willing to pay a considerable price for a ticket to space. This raises the risk that said wealthy passengers could turn around and sue the companies for any personal injury. damage.

Nevertheless, the law will not protect companies that have committed “gross negligence”, knew in advance about dangerous conditions, or deliberately attempted to harm crew members. Instead, it targets the “inherent risks” of space travel. and in cases where the company is acting with “mere negligence,” the law says. Crew members now learn how sign a waiver prior to participation in space flights, thereby releasing space companies from responsibility for their safety, in addition to the above conditions.

Refusal is reading: “WARNING: Under Florida law, liability for injury or death to a member or crew in a space flight operated by a space organization does not apply if such injury or death is the result of a space flight.”

This a fairly explicit warning, however, it assumes that ordinary citizens are already aware of the risks associated with space flight, which may not always be the case. Private crews go through some training before embarking on a rocket flight, but in many cases it’s simply not enough to equip astronauts with the right tools. It does not seem fair to make them responsible for the safety of the crew members.

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