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Andrea J. Harrington

Several US states have pioneered the adoption of space tourism industry-sponsored Spaceflight Liability and Immunity Acts for spaceflight participants in the past decade. These Acts specify the conditions under which a spaceflight entity will not be liable for a participant injury resulting from the risks of spaceflight activities. This trend in US space law is likely to have an impact on the emerging space tourism industry. The current chapter sets forth the context in which these Acts exist, by defining key terms and discussing the relevant distinctions between orbital and suborbital transportation. The chapter presents the federal setting in which the US Acts have come to exist, both in terms of liability with regard to commercial spaceflight and conflict with federal law generally. Finally, the language of the Acts is analysed, comparing key differences among them, and the potential applicability of such acts in non-US jurisdictions is considered. Keywords: space tourism; spaceflight liability and immunity; liability waiver; US state and federal law