Andrew G. Haley

Andrew G. Haley

The President of American Rocket Society and Founder of ‘Space Law.’

Andrew G. Haley was born in Tacoma, Washington on November 19, 1904. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from George Washington University and a law degree at Georgetown University. A lawyer by profession, Haley also devoted much of life to “working with his hands in rocketry,” especially rocket propulsion.

Prior to World War II, Andrew Haley was head of the Federal Communications Commission. In 1942, Haley, along with Theodore von Karman founded Aerojet Engineering Corp (later Aerojet General), which designed and developed Rocket-Assisted and Jet-Assisted Take-Off units for aircraft during World War II. He also served as its first president and managing director. Haley was vice-president of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) from 1951 to 1953 and was its president from 1958 to 1959.

For most of the 1950s, Andrew Haley was the director, president, and board chairman of the American Rocket Society. In 1956 he helped found the field of space law and created the field of “metalaw.” This term, which he coined at The International Astronautical Congress that year, refers to the study and development of a workable system of laws applicable to all our relations with alien intelligence.

Haley believed mankind should not apply the “Golden Rule” in any dealings with extra-terrestrials. Haley felt that doing unto another, alien being, as you would have him do unto you might prove to be deadly to him. He suggested the correct form of the Golden Rule should be “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.” This is the basis for all metalaw (Space Law). In 1963 he refined his ideas in an influential article entitled “Space Law and Government.”

Both the American Rocket Society and the American Bar Association honored Haley for his work. He died in 1966. He is remembered through the Haley Space Flight Award, presented every other year by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics “for outstanding contributions by an astronaut or test personnel to the advancement of the art, science or technology of astronautics.” The award was originally established in 1954 as the Haley Astronautics Award.