Full record for space tug n.

Definition a spacecraft designed to move other vessels or tug heavy freight
OED requirements antedating 1942
Earliest cite E. F. Russell 'Describe A Circle'
Comment Mike Christie submitted a 1943 cite from Will Stewart's "Opposites--React!". Mike Christie submitted a 1942 cite from Eric Frank Russell's "Describe A Circle". Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1997 reprint of C.M. Kornbluth's 1940 story, "King Cole of Pluto". We would like to verify the cite in its original publication, in Super Science Stories, May 1940, under the pseudonym S.D. Gottesman

Earliest cite in the OED: 1961.

Last modified 4 December, 2008

Citations for space tug n.

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1942 E. F. Russell Describe Circle in Astounding Sci. Fiction Mar. 130/2 Martiacast VXV calling Vanguard. Can now observe theStarider. You've permission to enter the sphere of Mars to make contact with vessel. Are ordering out space tugs.
1943 ‘W. Stewart’ Opposites—React! in Astounding Sci. Fiction Feb. 96/2 ‘Also, Commander,’ the Earthman added, ‘I'm expecting to sight a small space tug, the Goodby Jane. Unarmed, but very fast.’
1997 A. C. Clarke 3001: Final Odyssey i. 7 The message from Earth had taken six hours to reach the space-tug Goliath , here beyond the orbit of Neptune‥
1997 C. M. Kornbluth King Cole of Pluto in C. M. Kornbluth His Share of Glory: The Complete Short Science Fiction of C. M. Kornbluth 584 Reeking with oil and dressed in the rags of an outlaw space-tug's crew, he passed into the dismal underworld as one of its own creatures.