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Anan Ashraf

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Spaceflight Entity Liability Bill Into Law

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon spacecraft lifts off from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center for the Axiom Space Mission 2 (Ax-2) on May 21, 2023 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. (Photo by Paul Hennesy/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a significant Spaceflight Entity Liability bill into law, just a day after revealing his 2024 presidential bid on Elon Musk‘s Twitter platform.

The Details: This new law provides immunity from liability for spaceflight providers in the unfortunate event of crew injury or death. It effectively bars the crew from suing or seeking damages related to any harm arising from their involvement in spaceflight activities.

However, it’s important to note that the law does not absolve spaceflight providers of liability in cases involving gross negligence or intentional harm toward the crew’s safety. In such instances, the providers can still be held accountable.

In this NASA handout, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson announces Blue Origin as the company selected to develop a sustainable human landing system for the Artemis V Moon mission, Friday, May 19, 2023 at the Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters building in Washington. (Photo by Aubrey Gemignani/NASA via Getty Images)

Effective July 1st, all participants in spaceflight activities will be required to sign a waiver assuming the risks associated with their involvement.

The bill, sponsored by Republican Senator Tom Wright, successfully passed through both chambers of the Florida legislature, marking a significant milestone in legislative progress.

As seen from Orlando, Florida, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying 40 broadband internet satellites for OneWeb heads for orbit after launching from pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Cape Canaveral on January 9, 2023. This was the 16th satellite launch for OneWeb, developing and deploying a constellation of hundreds of satellites in low earth orbit. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Florida boasts a substantial presence in the aviation and aerospace sector, ranking second in the nation with over 16,019 aerospace-related companies, according to government agency Space Florida.

With a thriving commercial space industry, Florida serves as a hub for prominent players including Musk’s SpaceX, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, and OneWeb satellites. Additionally, the state has forged partnerships with United Launch Alliance and Boeing, further solidifying its position in the aerospace landscape.

The signing of this law reinforces Florida’s commitment to fostering spaceflight ventures while addressing the legal framework surrounding crew safety and liability.

SpaceX regularly launches its Falcon 9 rockets from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. 

Its most recent Florida launch on Saturday, May 27, was the 14th launch and landing for the Falcon 9 first stage booster. 



Produced in association with Benzinga

Edited by Alberto Arellano and Sterling Creighton Beard

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