Spaceport Bill Passes Senate

New Mexico – Legislation aimed at protecting New Mexico's spaceport from liability while the commercial space industry tackles the hazards of space flight has been approved on a 37-0 vote in the state Senate.

It's a victory for spaceport director Steve Landeene, who has portrayed the bill as critical to developing the $200 million complex, located 45 miles north of Las Cruces.

The bill outlines risks of space flight and requires companies taking anyone into space to obtain a signed waiver where the passenger acknowledges inherent dangers.

The measure was successfully revived this week after being tabled earlier by a committee. Lobbyists for trial lawyers had expressed concern the bill would make it impossible to seek damages against manufacturers of faulty rockets or equipment.

The bill goes to the House.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.