The Senate has unanimously approved a measure to help New Mexico attract commercial space travel companies by broadening their legal protections against damage lawsuits. The legislation cleared the Senate on Wednesday and heads to the House,
Under the legislation, spacecraft manufacturers, along with their parts and services suppliers, will be shielded in New Mexico from most damage lawsuits by passengers on space tourism flights.
Virgin Galactic plans to fly tourists into outer space at $200,000-a-ticket from Spaceport America near the community of Truth or Consequences.
A 2010 state law protects Virgin Galactic from being sued, except under certain circumstances, for damages by passengers or their families if there was an accident. The legislation will provide similar liability limitations for the manufacturers of spacecraft and their components.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.