space capsule n.

a small spacecraft, or self-contained section of a larger one, containing the instruments or crew for a space flight

In quot. 1943, a time capsule sent into space.


  • 1943 ‘L. Francis’ Daughter of Destiny in Amazing Stories Apr. 194/1 page image Leroy Yerxa bibliography

    Jerry Rand was fully convinced that the space capsule, said to contain man’s greatest treasure, had restored to the world something long forgotten.

  • 1954 E. R. James Space Capsule in New Worlds Science Fiction May 48 page image

    When a Sun and planets are observed to be approaching conditions suitable for the evolution of intelligent life based on carbon atoms, the system is visited by our ships. As the develoment of planets is dependent upon so many factors, however, these ships merely make a survey, and pass on, leaving behind a space capsule containing a unit such as this you now see.

  • 1961 A. C. Clarke At the End of the Orbit in Worlds of If 94/2 page image Arthur C. Clarke

    For the first time, Tibor could see the space-capsule in its entirety. It was such a peculiar-looking object, being designed for conditions beyond all normal experience, that there was an eye-teasing wrongness about it. One searched in vain for a front or a rear. There was no wasy of telling in what direction it pointed as it sped along its orbit.

  • 1977 C. L. Harness Wolfhead in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Dec. 129/1 page image Charles L. Harness bibliography

    He thought the space capsule had already emptied its death canister, and the contents would be reaching the earth’s surface within hours.

  • 1993 D. Kilby in Science Fiction Age May 68/1 page image

    An alien space capsule crash-lands down to planet Earth in an isolated section of rural America.

  • 2007 W. Barton Rocket into Planetary Space in Asimov’s Science Fiction Apr.–May 105 page image William Barton bibliography

    What if I had the money to buy a space capsule from one of the New Space Entrepreneurs I was reading about, and go on my own real space adventure?

Research requirements

antedating 1954

Earliest cite

E. R. James 'Space Capsule'

Research History
Fred Galvin found a reference in the ISFDB to a story by E.R.James, "Space Capsule" in New Worlds, May 1954; Derek Hepburn verified this reference, and supplied a cite from the story.

Last modified 2020-12-16 04:08:47
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.