Broadcast 904 (Special Edition)

07 Mar 2008 Tracey L. Knutson
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Tracey Knutson, Atty., was the guest for this Space Show program which focused on informed consent for spaceflight participants as required by the AST. This was a comprehensive discussion, largely from the spaceflight operator's perspective, but also pointing out what a participant or a participant's family would likely encounter were there an accident and litigation against the spaceflight operater. There were many listener questions covering all kinds of variables and scenarios that could happen with a space tourism flight. One listener asked Tracey if she would advise an operator to tell a client/passenger to get their will and estate in order before the flight. She said yes. Other issues came up from listeners regarding product liability and Tracey was excellent at separating these issues from the issues that would normally fall under the jurisdiction of a release and waiver agreement (informed consent). Another interesting point Tracey made was that the industry is definitely experimental and still in its "Barn Storming" days. In elaborating on this, Ms. Knutson made the excellent point that the spaceflight participant was actually part of the experiment and that makes it more difficult to pierce a well-made and administered informed consent agreement, or "release and waiver" as she called such documents. I urge listeners to listen to the full two hours of this discussion because she provides a comprehensive analysis of this important element of the developing space tourism industry. You can learn more about Tracey Knutson, read her articles, and contact her by visiting her website: www.traceknutson.com. Use her website contact page to send your email questions or comments to her, www.traceyknutson.com/contact_us.html (the email address on her page is tracey.knutsonlaw@alaska.net. ) Additionally, you can read a good analysis of this subject at http://rescommunis.wordpress.com/?s=tracey+knutson.

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