Full record for parking orbit n.

Definition an orbit around the earth or some other planet from which a space vehicle can be launched farther into space; also, an orbit which is stable and from which visits to the planet surface can conveniently be made
OED requirements antedating 1953
Earliest cite Robert A. Heinlein, 'Starman Jones'
Comment Ralf Brown located and Mike Christie submitted a 1958 cite from Robert Silverberg's "Prime Commandment". Jeff Prucher veriefied a 1953 cite from the first publication of Robert A. Heinlein's "Starman Jones"
Earliest cite in the OED: 1960.
Last modified 6 July, 2008

Citations for parking orbit n.

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1953 R. A. Heinlein Starman Jones 203 They hung in parking orbit while their possible future home was examined from the control room.
1953 R. A. Heinlein Starman Jones (1975) xvii. 184, I want the ship placed in a parking orbit.
1953 R. A. Heinlein Starman Jones (1975) xv. 168 They hung in parking orbit while their possible future home was examined from the control room.
1958 R. Silverberg in Original Sci. Fiction Stories Jan. 6/1 Even had the strangers come that night, if they had left their ship in a parking orbit and landed on World by dropshaft, it might not have happened.
1967 J. Blish Star Trek 79 The planet's effective mass would change, and perhaps even its center of gravity‚Ä•so that what had been a stable parking orbit for the Enterprise at one moment would become unstable and fragment-strewn the next.