By Colin Mummery
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The drastic rise of numerous space tourism companies suggests that the prospects of viable and even cost-conscious space tourism may be in reach. This entirely new frontier promises immense rewards in terms of financial remuneration for the companies involved, but there are significant legal issues that remain entirely unanswered. This note investigates the existing legal and regulatory framework including a discussion of the legal requirements for a company involved in space travel in the United States. Further analysis includes a look at the legal liabilities for private space tourism companies. This note argues that the FAA needs to immediately clarify certain definitions and classifications for the space tourism industry. More importantly, the proper allocation of risk and liability is of central importance for the growth and long term viability of the industry. As such, a hybrid risk sharing solution should be maintained via the government, the employee, the tourists, and the company.