Andrew Gallagher Haley (November 19, 1904 in Tacoma, Washington – 1966) was an American lawyer. He has been described as the world's first practitioner of space law.[1] Haley coined the term Metalaw, which refers to a field of legal thought now closely related to the scientific Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI).[2][3][4]

In 1928, Haley earned his LLB from Georgetown University Law School and later earned a BA from George Washington University.

In the early days of jet-assisted takeoff (JATO), engineers including Theodore von Kármán decided to form Aerojet Corporation to provide a business structure to their activities. When von Kármán called on Haley in 1942 to help with the incorporation, Haley said he was busy with a case before the Federal Power Commission. In a gesture of quid pro quo, von Kármán's team provided evidence to win Haley's case before the Commission, and Haley went to California to draw up the articles of incorporation.[5]:256,7

When financing from the Air Force was interrupted, General Benjamin Chidlaw told Kármán, "Find somebody who knows something about doing business with Washington and send him here." Haley's knowledge of the business and legal training made him the man for the job. But he was in uniform at Military Affairs Division of Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Air Force. Theodore worked his way up the chain of command to General Arnold who dismissed Haley for civilian duty at Aerojet.

Haley became Areojet's second president on August 26, 1942. He proved to be an incredible administrator. He held the company together by guts and audacity. On occasion he even sent handwritten letters to the Navy for advances to meet payrolls.[5]:259

Aerojet expanded quickly, but needed capital, so Haley contacted William F. O'Niel, president of General Tire and his vice-president Dan A. Kimball. A line of credit was offered and in January 1945 General Tire bought half the stock of Aerojet. General Tire pressured the remaining shareholders, including Haley and Kármán, to sell, which they did in 1953.[5]:316–19

Andy Haley left Aerojet to become counsel for a U. S. Senate committee that was investigating the economic future of the aerospace industry. Later, he went back to the practice of radio law. He never lost his love of rocketry, however, and today he is a leading figure in the International Astronautical Federation … and widely known as the nation's first "space lawyer", having devoted himself, among other things, to setting up guidelines for prospective claims to the moon.[5]:319,20

In 1963 Appleton-Century-Crofts published Haley's Space Law and Government. Lyndon Johnson (then Vice President), Carl Albert and George P. Miller contributed forewords to the book. Haley acknowledged the "analytical capacity of Mr. Crane and his unexcelled ability to quickly assemble source material"(page xv). The chapters considered the promise and challenge of space, traditional bases of international law, national consent to overflight, limits of national sovereignty, sovereignty over celestial bodies, space vehicle regulations, space communications, liability for personal and property damages, space medical jurisprudence, intergovernmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations. Reviews were published by Alan V. Washburn in American Journal of Legal History and Carol Q. Christol in Southern California Law Review (both in 1964), by Stephen E. Doyle in Duke Law Journal (1965) and by L.F.E. Goldie in Georgetown Law Journal (1966).

In his 1967 autobiography, Kármán tells of his trip to Moscow where he met with Ivan Bardin. At the time he was unaware of early rocketry in Russia, and only by Haley's graces later was he brought up to speed:

My friend, space lawyer Andrew G. Haley, who likes to explore historical questions as a hobby, later told me that it is likely that the Russians – and not the Germans as is popularly supposed – founded the first rocket society in the world. At least Moscow had an interplanetary travel group as early as 1924, and three years later, at the time the Germans founded their first rocket society, the Russians were hosts to the first International Exhibition of Space Navigation. In 1928 and during the following four years Professor Nikolai Rynin published a formidable nine-volume encyclopedia entitled Interplanetary Communications. It was the first authoritative summary of man's knowledge of space travel.[5]:188

Haley, along with his friend and colleague Ernst Fasan, was instrumental in founding both the International Academy of Astronautics and the International Institute of Space Law.

Haley died in 1966.


  1. ^ Daniel Lang and Brendan Gill (December 29, 1956) The Talk of the Town, "Metalaw", The New Yorker, p. 19
  2. ^ Andrew G. Haley (November 8, 1956) "Space law and Metalaw – A Synoptic View", Harvard Law Record 23
  3. ^ Andrew G. Haley (1963) Space Law and Government, Appleton Century Crofts, New York
  4. ^ Ernst Fasan (1970) Relations with Alien Intelligences: The Scientific Basis of Metalaw, Berlin Verlag, Berlin
  5. ^ a b c d e Theodore von Kármán (1967) The Wind and Beyond

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