Saturday, May 21, 2011

Texas Space Alliance Celebrates New Space "Tourism" Law

by Staff Writers
Austin TX (SPX) May 12, 2011

The Texas Space Alliance congratulated the governor and legislatureon passing what it hopes will be the first of a new wave of pro-commercial space laws in the last weeks, and called for the Texas government to move quickly to pass other pro-commercial space legislation - before other states seal their leads in courting this billion dollar industry.

With the signature of Texas Governor Rick Perry affixed, and its publication by the Texas Secretary of State, the new Texas space liability law goes into immediate effect.

It restrains unlimited personal liability for passenger travel to/from space via the state of Texas, providing what should be the first of many steps to enhance space business in the state, moving Texas toward the goal of being a premiere space launch and landing destination for all customers -- personal, educational, commercial, military and governmental.

"We at the Texas Space Alliance salute the government for taking this first small step towards making Texas a space state," said Wayne Rast, Director-Governmental Affairs for TXA. "After having offered testimony in the Texas Senate on behalf of this legislation, we are thrilled to see it become the law in Texas."

The TXA, which worked with other pro-commercial space supporters to help pass the legislation saluted State Senator Carlos Uresti (TX-19), and Texas Congressmen Pete Gallego (TX-74), for introducing and then championing passage of this important new law, which it believes will help usher in an age of commercial space travel in Texas, including so called space "tourism" flights to the edge of space.

They also acknowledge the work of Keith Graff and others on the governor's staff, and the governor himself, who they believe can help rally the state to this important cause.

"This is the beginning of a new effort on our part to "awaken the sleeping giant" of Texas when it comes to the emerging commercial space industry," said TXA President Rick Tumlinson.

"But we have to move quickly. Other states such as Florida, Virginia and New Mexico are far ahead of us in courting and supporting this potentially multi-billion dollar industry, and if we want a part of it dramatic and determined action will be necessary - as the deals are being cut right now that will determine its future for decades."

With the liability law in place, the TXA is working on a Texas Space Plan that includes important items for improving the space business climate in Texas, including a zero-gravity, zero-tax law (ZGZT) to draw new jobs and industry to Texas, and the development of Space Enterprise Zones and a set of Texas Spaceports.

ZGZT has received enthusiastic support from the Chair of the Senate Economic Development Committee - State Senator Mike Jackson (TX-11) and early efforts and interest from Texas Congressmen Larry Taylor (TX-24) and House Economic Development Chair John Davis (TX-129)."