Full record for spaceworthy adj.

Definition fit for space travel
OED requirements antedating 1931
Earliest cite E. E. Smith 'Spacehounds of IPC'
Comment Michael Quinion submitted a 1941 cite. Enoch Forrester submitted a cite from a 1965 reprint of E.E. Smith's 1934 "Triplanetary". Mike Christie submitted a 1937 cite from E.E. Smith's "Galactic Patrol". Douglas Winston submitted a cite from a 1983 reprint of E.E. Smith's "Spacehounds of IPC", which Alistair Durie confirmed in the 1931 first publication.

Earliest cite in the OED: 1959.

Last modified 6 July, 2008

Citations for spaceworthy adj.

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1931 E. E. Smith Spacehounds of IPC in Amazing Stories Aug. 411/1 Day after day the brilliant sphere flew toward distant Saturn, with the wreckage of the Forlorn Hope in tow. Piece by piece that wreckage was brought together and held in place by the Titanian tractors; and slowly but steadily, under Stevens' terrific welding projector, the stubborn steel flowed together, once more to become a seamless, space-worthy structure.
1937 E. E. Smith Galactic Patrol in Astounding Stories Nov. 138/1 The now entirely spaceworthy craft shot out through the port, through Trenco's noxiously peculiar atmosphere, into the vacuum of space.
1941 Cosmic Stories May Any more and—well, the Icarus wouldn't be spaceworthy again until he could have that spot repaired.
1954 G. O. Smith Spacemen Lost in Startling Stories Fall 53/1 Commander Hatch looked down at his feet. ‘I was in a space can once,’ he said. ‘They don't last forever. I—’ He let his voice trail away. Wilson looked into their faces. The cold, bleak fact was so clear in their faces that he could not ignore it. He was forced to recognize the fact that a lifeship is no spacecraft. A lifeship is a flimsy tin can, as spaceworthy as an open raft on the broad ocean, as spaceworthy as an umbrella in a windstorm.
1965 E. E. Smith Triplanetary 159 Then in furious haste the two officers set to work, again to make their small craft sound and spaceworthy.
1991 M. Weiss King's Test i.iv. 28 Fly off all planes, including those that are damaged if they're at all spaceworthy.
1992 H. Warner, Jr. Wealth of Fable 338 He criticized fanzine con reports in which ‘a detailing of the number of hamburgers consumed en route often consumes more wordage than a description of program events, and mention of a first meeting with a new fan from Squeegee, Wyoming is deemed more spaceworthy than an appraisal of the guest of honor.’
2006 Analog June 13/1 Why not let me take the McAuliffee over to Mars? I'm the best qualified, and I can have her spaceworthy inside two hours.