Full record for space colony n.

Definition a large group of people imagined as living and working in a space station or on another planet
OED requirements antedating 1932
Earliest cite P. Schuyler Miller, letter
Comment Fred Galvin submitted a 1949 cite from Poul Anderson's "Time Heals".

Previous earliest cite in the OED: 1974

Fred Galvin submitted a 1932 cite from a letter of P. Schuyler Miller in Wonder Stories.

Last modified 15 January, 2011

Citations for space colony n.

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1932 P. S. Miller Let. in Wonder Stories June 91/2 Obviously, no author can present vividly and realistically for the benefit of the latter, experienced readers certain problems of future life and relations, of life in space ships and space colonies, that everyone realizes will and must occur, when sixth-grade children are reading them. They would not understand what was really being presented, anymore [sic] than they would understand a bald, literal statement of the theories of Freud and his school.
1949 P. Anderson Time Heals in Astounding Sci. Fiction Oct. 72/1 Well—dere are exceptions, ewen today. If dey cannot be adjusted, or will not be—since noting is legally compulsory—dey must eider be sent to space colonies or struggle trough an unhappy life on Eart, witout friends or marriage, witout ewen a group. But numbers deys gruw less all de time.
1979 J. P. Hogan Two Faces of Tomorrow (1987) 76 You don't mean the two experimental space colonies they put up before they started building the big ones?