Full record for launching laser n.

Definition a high-powered laser used for the launching of spacecraft, either by vaporizing propellent at the rear of the craft, or by radiation pressure on a light sail
OED requirements any evidence 1971
Earliest cite Larry Niven, 'The Fourth Profession'
Comment Carol Phillips submitted a 1971 cite from Larry Niven's "The Fourth Profession."
Adam Buchbinder submitted a 2007 cite from Austin Grossman's "Soon I will be Invincible"
Adam Buchbinder submitted a cite from a 1987 reprint of Vernor Vinge's 1981 "True Names", which Mike Christie verified in the original.

In addition to antedatings, we would like further cites of any date from other authors.

Last modified 8 December, 2009

Citations for launching laser n.

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1971 L. Niven Fourth Profession in Quark Aug. 209 ‘Jerome Finney‥showed that the spectrum was the light of our own sun, drastically blue-shifted. Some kind of mirror was coming at us, moving at a hell of a clip, but slowing as it came.’‘That would mean a light-sail! ’‘Why the big deal, Frazer? I thought you already knew. ’‘No. This is the first I've heard of it. I don't read the Sunday supplements. ’ Morris was exasperated. ‘But you knew enough to call a laser cannon a launching laser! ’
1981 V. Vinge True Names in Binary Star No. 5 179 As they fell deeper into the humid air of the lowlands, Mr. Slippery dipped into the news channels: word was already coming over the LA Times of the fluke accident in which the Hokkaido aerospace launching laser had somehow shone on MT3's optics.
2007 A. Grossman Soon I will be Invincible 75 When the doomsday device is unveiled, the launching laser built, the weather-controlling satellite finally aloft, the skies dancing to my whim.