Sign that waiver!

As commercial manned space flight moves toward becoming a reality and customers start lining up for their turn at history, an important issue rises--If something terrible happens and people are injured or die, who's liable?

Oddly enough, the Federal Laws do not require liability waivers for passengers against the company--only against the US government.  I other words (as I understand it) if the flight of your life becomes the last flight of your life, your family can sue the rocket company, but not Uncle Sam.

Neither the CSLA nor the regulations promulgated thereunder require space flight participants to execute waivers in favor of the licensee or permittee or its contractors and subcontractors.[105] Space flight participants are, however, required to execute a valid and mutual waiver with the United States government.[106] Licensees and permittees are required to provide disclosures regarding the safety history and risks associated with space travel to participants,[107] and they must receive training on safety issues, including how to respond to emergency situations while in flight.[108]
Because the CSLA does not require space flight participants to waive liability for any entity other than the United States government, companies participating in manned space flights will still need to look to other means of limiting claims by space flight participants.[109] (From the law review article on Commercial Space Launch Act,
Considering how potentially dangerous space is, this sounds like a real hindrance to businesses, and considering there are liability waivers for everything from airplane flights to website tools, I'm kind of surprised there wasn't one required for commercial space flight.  However, many states (New Mexico, Texas, Virginia, Florida, California, to name a few) are jumping in with state-mandated waivers.  Here's California's, which was approved by the governor on Sept 12:

“WARNING AND ACKNOWLEDGMENT: I understand and acknowledge that, under California law, there is limited civil liability for bodily injury, including death, emotional injury, or property damage, sustained by a participant as a result of the inherent risks associated with space flight activities provided by a space flight entity. I have given my informed consent to participate in space flight activities after receiving a description of the inherent risks associated with space flight activities, as required by federal law pursuant to Section 50905 of Title 51 of the United States Code and Section 460.45 of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The consent that I have given acknowledges that the inherent risks associated with space flight activities include, but are not limited to, risk of bodily injury, including death, emotional injury, and property damage. I understand and acknowledge that I am participating in space flight activities at my own risk. I have been given the opportunity to consult with an attorney before signing this statement.”
So when you're about to strap yourself onto a 70-meter explosive device and get yourself shot out of the atmosphere--remember: Space is dangerous.  You want to ride?  Accept the risks, adn sign the waiver.

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