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The space flight liability bill of Sen. Carlos Uresti was passed by the Texas Senate on Tuesday. The Senator called the passage of the bill a milestone in the countdown towards the launch of the space tourism industry in Texas.
Senate Bill 115, which was designed to provide space flight companies legal protection, aims to strengthen the waivers of liability signed by the passengers who were already made aware of the various risks involved with sub-orbital flights.
Uresti, a Democrat who represent District 19 which include the counties of Brewster, Jeff Davis and Presidio, said, “By making sure that courts enforce waivers of liability, private space flight companies can stay focused on the development of the space tourism industry, which holds a lot of promise for the West Texas economy.”
Although the measure applies to all commercial space flight companies in Texas, Uresti hopes that it will spur the progress of Blue Origin. A vertical takeoff and landing vehicle is currently being developed by the company in its Van Horn space port.
Blue Origin, which was created by the founder of Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos, has already become one of the leading taxpayers in Culberson County. The company is hoping they could begin sub-orbital space flights by 2012.
Senator Uresti also said that West Texas, famous for its McDonald Observatory in nearby Jeff Davis County, could improve its reputation in space science with such an industry. “Texas is a land of big ideas and big dreams,” said Uresti. “If the commercial space flight industry can get established here, the sky won’t be the limit anymore.”