Source Pravda.Ru

Government rules for tourist trips to outer space

Thinking of spending that next vacation on the moon or Mars or circling the Earth? Before liftoff, there's a list of things the would-be "space flight participant" should know.

More than 120 pages of proposed U.S. government rules released Thursday on the future of &to=http://english.pravda.ru/science/19/94/379/15302_spacetour.html' target=_blank>space tourism touch on everything from passenger medical standards to preflight training for the crew.

Before taking a trip that literally is out of this world, companies would be required to inform the "space flight participant" _ otherwise known as a passenger _ of the risks. Passengers also would be required to provide written consent before boarding a vehicle for takeoff.

Legislation signed a year ago by President Bush and designed to help the industry flourish bars the Federal Aviation Administration from issuing safety regulations for passengers and crew for eight years, unless specific design features or operating practices cause a serious or fatal injury.

"This means that the FAA has to wait for harm to occur or almost occur before it can impose restrictions, even against foreseeable harm," the proposal says. "Instead, Congress requires that space flight participants be informed of the risks."

Physical exams for passengers are recommended, but will not be required, "unless a clear public safety need is identified," the FAA says the proposed regulations.