Full record for earthbound adj.

Definition unable to leave the planet Earth
OED requirements antedating 1937
Earliest cite E.E. Smith, 'Galactic Patrol'
Comment Suggested by Randy Hoffman

Fred Galvin submitted a 1963 cite from the title of the story "Earthbound', by Lester Del Rey.
Douglas Winston submitted a 1994 cite from S.Andrew Swann's "Emperors of the Twilight".
Douglas Winston submitted a 1979 cite from Lee Killough's "The Doppelganger Gambit".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1949 cite from George O. Smith's "Fire in the Heavens".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1950 cite from Milton Lesser's "All Heroes Are Hated!".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1941 cite from "The Beast of Space" by F. E. Hardart
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1959 reprint of Lester Del Rey's "The Luck of Ignatz", which Mike Christie verified in its 1939 first appearance
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1950 reprint of E.E. Smith's "Galactic Patrol": Mike Christie verified it in its first publication (serial in Astounding Stories, 1937)

The OED entry has figurative cites for "earth-bound", but none in the literal, SF sense.

Last modified 10 December, 2009

Citations for earthbound adj.

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1937 E. E. Smith Galactic Patrol in Astounding Stories Dec. 67/1 And, fifteen years or so from now—if he lived—when he was no longer fit for the grinding, grueling life to which he now looked forward so eagerly, he would select the Earthbound job for which he was best fitted and would become a good executive.
1939 Astounding Sci.-Fiction Aug. 10/1 Even veteran spacemen were usually mudsuckers on Venus, and Anne was Earthbound up to now.
1949 G. O. Smith Fire in Heavens in Startling Stories July 53/1 As Charles Horne left, he was thinking furiously. With billions of other earthbound people Horne did not want to die in even the finest of cosmic combustions. To die with pomp and ceremony and a monument that would attract the attention of every sentient being in the galaxy and other galaxies for thousands of millions of years was small compensation for the fact that he could not die very quietly of very old age.
1950 M. Lesser All Heroes Are Hated! in Amazing Stories Nov. 18/2 In the beginning, a few of the starmen tried, but they were blasted out of space. We're earthbound. The whole culture is earthbound, with nothing to do. It's as if the stars don't exist. And we're going backwards. It's hard to see in ten years, but with all this unemployment, all the discontent—earth is on the way down.
1968 S. E. Whitfield in S. E. Whitfield & G. Roddenberry Making of ‘Star Trek’ ii. viii. 252 Her life at present is a battle between her female need for the pleasant routine of Earthbound home and family versus the personal challenge of starship life and continued new worlds to conquer.
1979 L. Killough Doppelganger Gambit ii. 34 A hundred years ago, there had been solid strings of traffic on cross-country highways, most of the traffic privately-owned road cars. That was before energy rationing, of course, and before metal started being saved for building ships to go to the Moon and Mars and the stars, to build cities on the Moon and Mars, instead of being wasted on earthbound vehicles.
1984 R. Silverberg Waiting for Earthquake in R. Silverberg Conglomeroid Cocktail Party (1984) 199–200 Paul, tough old indestructible Paul, had panicked over the thought that the earthquake was only a decade away, and between Darkday and Dimday of Christmas week had packed up and boarded an Earthbound ship.
1988 R. Silverberg We are for Dark in Coll. Stories (1993)II. 324, I have no regret over remaining Earthbound: far from it! Earth is our great mother. Earth is the mother of us all. Troubled as she is, blighted as she now may be, dying, even, I am content to stay here, and more than content.
1990 G. Bear Queen of Angels (1991) i.iv. 18, I assume my earthbound twin is interpreting these bursts adequately, politely, suavely.
1994 ‘S. A. Swann’ Emperors of Twilight xxi. 261 It seems that the Pan-Asian war was so successful in keeping us earthbound that the Race is trying to foment a civil war here in the States. The Asian war left the U.S. with the only viable space program looking beyond the solar system.
1995 C. Carter Truth is out There: Official Guide to The X Files Introd. 4 Aside from its genre's mixed track record, The X-Files was set to air on Friday—a night when many of the young adults and teenagers who would naturally comprise the core audience for such a program were likely to be out pursuing other, more earthbound forms of recreation.