Space law attorney’s papers being archived

Published 10:18 pm Monday, March 23, 2009

Historians working on the professional papers of the late Andrew G. Haley, considered one of the world’s first space law practitioner, have found letters from U.S. presidents, a science fiction writer and international politicians.

Work began last fall on organizing Haley’s papers for the National Center for Remote Sensing, Air and Space Law at the University of Mississippi law school.

Researchers found letters from former Presidents John F. Kennedy and Gerald Ford and science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke.

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The 42 boxes of Haley’s space-related correspondence and files were donated by his son Andrew Haley Jr. to the late Stephen Gorove, after Haley’s death in 1966. Gorove, who taught at the Ole Miss law school from 1965 to 1988, was also among the first attorneys to tackle the issues of space law.

Center officials said Haley’s collection will be a valuable asset for space lawyers and Cold War historians alike.

Among the papers is a 1956 letter from Clarke detailing his ideas on how communications and other satellites would be used in the future. It talked of the idea of geosynchronous orbits long before the first satellite was launched.

Geosynchronous orbits enable communications satellites to remain in orbit over the same location on Earth constantly and are sometimes referred to as Clarke orbits because of his proposal of the idea.

In the letter to Haley, Clarke said his interests were in space-based satellite relays. The letter goes on to discuss the future of space-based systems predicting worldwide person-to-person radio communication, direct broadcasting and a position-finding system.

Other letters deal with the founding of the International Institute on Space Law and the American Bar Association’s acknowledgment of space law as a field of legal study.

On the Net:

Haley’s collection,