space freighter n.

a spaceship primarily used for transporting cargo


  • 1930 J. W. Campbell Voice of the Void in Amazing Stories Quarterly Summer 392/1 page image John W. Campbell, Jr. bibliography

    High in the jet black sky, a scant hundred miles from the ground below, a mighty space-freighter was taking off for Venus. The thin belt of atmosphere permitted it to reach a high speed quickly. Already it was in full stride and heading at 1,000 miles a second for Venus.

  • 1932 J. W. Campbell Invaders from Infinite in Amazing Stories Quarterly Spring 195/1 John W. Campbell, Jr.

    It was one of the commercial space freighters plying between Nansal, Sator, Earth and Venus that had brought the news of this war to him, Torlos explained, and he, as the new Trade Coordinator and Fourth of the Four who now ruled Nansal, had suggested that they go to the aid of the man who had so aided them in their great war with Sator.

  • 1940 A. E. van Vogt Vault of the Beast in Astounding Science-Fiction Aug. 50/1 page image A. E. van Vogt bibliography

    It crept along the corridor of the space freighter, fighting the terrible urge of its elements to take the shape of its surroundings.

  • 1943 E. M. Hull Competition in Astounding Science-Fiction June 44/1 page image E. Mayne Hull bibliography

    The debarkation of the space freighter from Earth was in full swing.

  • 1951 P. S. Miller Book Reviews in Astounding Science Fiction Mar. 144/1 P. Schuyler Miller

    Nelson Bond lacks few of the tricks of the born story-teller and uses them all blandly and shamelessly in this collection of eleven adventures of his bumbling, gangling hero, Third Mate Lancelot Biggs and his long-suffering fellow officers of the rattletrap space freighter Saturn.

  • 1956 R. E. Lowe Ninety-Minute War in Fantastic Universe Apr. 102/2 page image Richard E. Lowe bibliography

    Radioman, order space freighters to change their course one hundred and eighty degrees and orbit until you receive further orders.

  • 1969 E. C. McCarty Robot 678 in Worlds of If Sept. 601 page image E. Clayton McCarty bibliography

    Then the space freighter lifted, taking with it the artisans and architects.

  • 1999 G. Feeley Ladies in Their Letters in Asimov’s Science Fiction June 70/1 page image Gregory Feeley bibliography

    I want to pilot a space freighter, preferably in the asteroids. Does that sound exotic? Probably not to you!

  • 2010 C. Beckett Desiccated Man in Peacock Cloak (2013) 197 page image Chris Beckett bibliography

    ‘I bet you come down here all the time to check them out, don’t you?’ he said. ‘I know if it was me I wouldn’t be able to keep away.’ ‘Not really. Got better things to do.’ ‘Better things? On a space freighter? You’ll have to tell me your secret, buddy.’

Research requirements

antedating 1930

Earliest cite

J. W. Campbell, "Voice of the Void"

Research History
Jeff Prucher submitted a 2003 cite from a reprint of Jack Williamson's 2002 "Afterlife".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1956 cite from Richard E. Lowe's "The Ninety-Minute War".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1951 cite from Isaac Asimov's "Hostess".
Mike Christie submitted a 1951 cite from P. Schuyler Miller in Astounding Science Fiction.
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a reprint of A.E. van Vogt's "Vault of the Beast"; Mike Christie verified it in the 1940 first appearance.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1932 cite from John W. Campbell Jr.'s "Invaders From the Infinite".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1932 cite from "The Space Rover" by Edwin K. Sloat (Astounding Stories, February, 1932, 2 months before the Campbell cite above)
Fred Galvin submitted a 1930 cite from J.W. Cambell's "Voice of the Void".
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2010 cite from Chris Beckett.

Last modified 2021-09-11 00:56:19
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.