Full record for space suit n.

Definition also "space-suit"; a garment designed to protect the wearer against the conditions of space.
OED requirements antedating 1932
Earliest cite John W. Campbell, Jr. 'The Electronic Siege'
Comment Dan Tilque submitted a cite from a 1958 reprint of E.E. Smith's "The Skylark of Space". Alistair Durie checked earlier editions of this story: the 1946 edition used "space-suit", but the original 1928 magazine edition used only the term "suit". The OED database quotes the Smith cite as from 1928, but it appears that Smith only used the term in later editions.

Fred Galvin submitted a 1935 cite for "space-suit" from Lawrence Manning's "World of the Mist". Fred Galvin submitted a cite for "space suit" from a 1975 reprint of Jack Williamson's "Dead Star Station" which Mike Christie verified in its 1933 first publication. Fred Galvin submitted cites for "space-suit" and "space suit" from a 1947 reprint of Manly Wade Wellman's "The Disc-Men of Jupiter"; we would like to verify this in its first publication (Wonder Stories, September, 1931) Fred Galvin submitted a 1932 cite from "The Electronic Siege", by John W. Campbell, Jr.

Last modified 6 July, 2008

Citations for space suit n.

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1928 E. E. Smith Skylark of Space (1958) 72 DuQuesne reported briefly to the two girls. All three put on suits and crowded into the tiny airlock. The lock was pumped down.
1932 J. W. Campbell Electronic Siege in Wonder Stories Apr. 1249/1 Now Markham was marched up, and the entire group efficiently escorted to the communication lock, where a long, flexible tube between the ships permitted them to go from the passenger liner to the space ship without space suits.
1933 J. Williamson Dead Star Station in Astounding Stories Nov. 64/1 ‘Come on and get into your space suit.’ Five minutes later, the eleven of us were dragging ourselves across between the ships in clumsy, inflated suits, laden with weapons.
1935 L. Manning World of Mist in Wonder Stories Oct. 609/1 If you are through with Wad for a minute, just slip on your space-suit and step out there.
1941 Cosmic Stories Mar. The Plutonian night was cold and blue. But Lance didn't feel the cold as he stepped from the observatory airlock in his bulbous space-suit.
1947 M. W. Wellman Disc-Men of Jupiter in Startling Stories May 84/2 In the first place the pressure is considerable and the density is greater than that of the most thoroughly water-saturated air. Then there is a whole chemistry shop full of other elements in with the oxygen and hydrogen, even including some metallic vapors. You'd need a space suit to make any kind of a successful trip outdoors.
1947 M. W. Wellman Disc-Men of Jupiter in Startling Stories May 88/1 The space-suit, designed for use on the outside of just such hulls as these, was furnished with boots that had magnetic soles, and Thiana was thankful for the firm footing they afforded her. Slowly she walked toward the nose of the ship, her ray ready in her hands.
1966 S. Delany Babel-17 iii. v. 171 To fight in a space suit out there is no good.
1970 A. McCaffrey Ship who Sang (1991) i. 20 Jennan broke out spacesuits to the three who would have to remain with him in the airlock.
1980 D. Brin Sundiver iv.xii. 128 Now LaRoque was putting on a spacesuit in a tool closet twenty meters from an outer airlock.
1982 A. C. Clarke 2010: Odyssey Two (1983) 112 The Pod Bay also contained two spacesuits, looking uncomfortably like decapitated corpses as they hung helmetless in their racks.
1985 O. S. Card Ender's Game vii. 93 I'm about as useful as a sneeze in a spacesuit.
1990 R. L. Forward Rocheworld 9 ‘See you soon’, said Jinjur, turning off the console and heading for the locker that held her personal space-suit.
1991 Locus Sept. 63/1 As with Steele's characters, he has some of the sardonic wit that is the defense mechanism for those whose life might be lost at any instant, for any reason, whether it be a spacesuit failure or exposure to a solar flare.
1993 K. S. Robinson Red Mars iii. 92/93 The walkers were designed for the Martian surface, and were not pressurized like spacesuits.
1997 A. C. Clarke 3001: Final Odyssey iv. 26 But where were the spacesuits?
2005 R. J. Sawyer Mindscan xxx. 217 It used to be, I'm told, that spacesuits had to be custom built for each user, but new adaptive fabrics made that unnecessary.