The bill, which passed the Legislature with bipartisan support, was promoted by its author, Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, D-Torrance, as a measure to help California become a hub for the private space industry, including firms such as Hawthorne-based SpaceX.
According to a legislative analysis, Assembly Bill 777 is estimated to result in a reduction of local property tax revenue of about $1 million annually.
Brown signed the bill without comment, but his interest in space goes back decades to when, as governor before from 1975 to 1983, he proposed a $5.8 million communications satellite system. He was mocked for the idea, while proponents said he was ahead of his time.
"I actually wanted to have a state satellite, " Brown said in 2012. "Couldn't pull it off."
PHOTO: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from launch Pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Friday, April 18, 2014. Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel/MCT.