Ron DeSantis Signs Bill Shielding Elon Musk’s SpaceX From Lawsuits

An unmanned SpaceX rocket exploded final month, leading to catastrophic environmental harm.

Newly introduced GOP presidential candidate and Florida governor Ron DeSantis (R) signed a invoice into state legislation on Thursday that protects personal firms that orchestrate spaceflights from legal responsibility lawsuits if a crew member will get injured or dies on account of an accident.

The laws turned legislation exactly one day after DeSantis announced his 2024 presidential marketing campaign in a Twitter Areas occasion hosted by Twitter proprietor Elon Musk, who additionally owns the personal spaceflight firm SpaceX.

“Twenty-four hours after showing with Elon Musk to announce his marketing campaign for president, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis simply signed a invoice into legislation that can defend Musk’s SpaceX and different personal house firms from negligence lawsuits after an explosion or a crash,” wrote Jason Garcia, an investigative reporter from Florida.

The text of the legislation offers super leeway to non-public spaceflight firms, particularly shielding them from lawsuits regarding “damage to or dying of a participant or crew ensuing from spaceflight actions” so long as sure warnings had been made to crew members previous to launch. Lawsuits may solely transfer ahead in sure conditions, together with instances by which firms had “precise information of an awfully harmful situation” that isn’t inherent to house journey earlier than an accident occurred.

The invoice’s signing comes virtually precisely a month after a big, unmanned SpaceX rocket exploded over the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, leading to catastrophic environmental damage, together with a fire at a nearby state park.

Though the Florida legislature handed the invoice previous to DeSantis’s presidential announcement, observers famous that the governor’s signing of the invoice a day after Musk helped launch his marketing campaign gave the looks of a quid professional quo.

“What did Elon Musk get for placing the complete power of Twitter — damaged although it might be — behind Ron DeSantis?” the Twitter account for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) asked. “DeSantis simply signed a invoice that would doubtlessly defend Musk and SpaceX from being sued for accidents that injure or kill crew members.”

The Twitter Areas occasion by which DeSantis introduced his 2024 marketing campaign was rife with glitches and technical difficulties. At one level, the occasion required an entire restart, leading to tons of of 1000’s of listeners dropping off earlier than DeSantis even mentioned a phrase on the printed.

Observers have seen a decline in Twitter’s high quality within the months since Musk bought the positioning, together with extra frequent outages and difficulties loading media in tweets. Musk’s loosening of restrictions on what content material may be shared has additionally led to a spike in hateful posts from far proper customers.

Nameless Twitter staff indicated that mismanagement of the social media web site was partially chargeable for the glitches, telling The New York Occasions that preparation for the Twitter Areas occasion was missing, and that no planning had been made to account for “web site reliability points” earlier than the launch of the printed.

“The technical issues on Wednesday confirmed how Twitter is working removed from seamlessly, turning what was imagined to be a crowning occasion for Mr. Musk into one thing of a humiliation,” Occasions know-how reporter Ryan Mac wrote.

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