Enter at your own risk – or so should read a sign on the door of every passenger spaceship in the future.
Space tourism operators like Virgin Galactic have won a legal reprieve against potential litigation by surviving family members in the event of passenger injuries or death during flight, according to Space.com.
“This helps give us a really solid insurance foundation” for the business, Virgin Galactic President Will Whitehorn said in the report regarding the new legislation, which was signed into law on February 27 by New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. “It includes the principle of informed consent. Participants will be required to sign a waiver before flight.”
The possibility of lawsuits with staggering sums attached is only higher in the space tourism industry’s early years, thanks to the high costs that will invariably draw enthusiasts with very high net worth statements. The law won’t hold in the event that the space tourism operator is found guilty of gross negligence or willful misconduct, according to the report.