a device that creates or nullifies the effects of gravity
The Planetara was turning. The heavens revolved in a great round sweep of movement, then settled as we took our new course. Hahn at the turret controls had swung us. The earth and the sun showed over our bow quarter. The sunlight mingled red-yellow with the brilliant starlight. Hahn’s signals were sounding; I heard them answered from the mechanism rooms down below. Brigands there—in full control. The gravity plates were being set to the new positions; we were on our new course. Headed a point or two off the Earth-line.
The bow gravity-plates slid into the repulsive-force positions.
The creature’s body was so heavy that Thad had to return to the bridge, and shut off the current in the gravity plates along the keel, before he could move it.
An hour’s ascent, with our rocket-tails streaming like a comet behind us; then we shut them off, with the gravity plates set for Earth repulsion and the Moon to pull us on the first leg of the flight.
Special motors had been installed in the ship, engines that would pour a flood of power into the gravity plates—enough power to enable the Newtonia to pull free from the Sun's grip.
But there was nothing normal about a gravity plate that had resisted the tug of Mars only to buckle on little Phobos, crippling our ship on a blue moon that traveled in the wrong direction, and possessed a diameter of only eight minutes of arc when it was at its zenith.
She spun on her heel and marched away. The sound of her heels could be heard fading as she stamped along the gravity plates linking the floor of the umbilical tunnel.
Ray Cummings, "Wandl, the Invader"
Last modified 2022-03-01 23:01:23
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.