in or towards the upper parts of a spacecraft; (also) in or towards orbit
Also as adj.
The equivalent sense ‘in or towards the upper deck(s) of a ship’ is found from the 19th century.
[He] followed with cheerful assurance as Ridge led the way to the topside observatory dome.
We’re out of the Belt, spacebound for the Jovian system. I–I’ll go topside right away, sir!
The guys at the field will have to see them or you don’t go topside.
‘My engines haven’t fired yet. We’re in orbit.’ ‘Oh, of course. Where in orbit?’ ‘Approaching perigee. We’ll pass and climb in a little while. You might as well stay there.’ ‘I've never fainted before,’ she said to herself. ‘You’ve never jumped topside in a bucket before. This isn’t the deluxe tour, Bristol, and this ain’t no stinking ferryboat. I can’t waste time nor money on the featherbed treatment.’
There was this damn dog, who’d been sleeping under the porch all the time I’d been snoozing topside. He was awake now. And he started barking. Then he chased my ass down to the road.
The Nipple offices were topside because, when the rag was founded, topside meant cheap.
He filled the bill until they could get her topside.
But you go topside if you want to, Bones.
Hull’s all but lost topside, either ripped or burned away.
Harl Vincent, in Amazing Stories
We expect this is probably somewhat earlier, and would like to have that confirmed with an antedating.
Last modified 2021-02-19 12:38:19
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.