a small spacecraft used, esp. on a regular schedule, to transport passengers or cargo over a relatively short distance, as between an orbiting craft and a planet’s surface
Now used as a non-hypothetical term in astronautics.
The company has obligations to its stockholders…and it can’t afford to run an interplanetary ferry for the benefit of a class of people that feel that the world owes them a living.
Logic of Empire in Astounding Science-Fiction Mar. 10/1
At the end of these manœuvres, which would occupy only a few hours, it would be back in a stable, circular orbit waiting to be refuelled and serviced, and the crew could be taken down to Earth by one of the winged ‘ferry’ rockets.
Exploration of Space 78
It was easy, too, to enter the planet Grekh; you just boarded an interworld ferry from either of the two sister-planets.
Matter of Faith in Space Science Fiction Sept. 66/2
The little ferry ship used between the ships and the station was still here, too. It could be used to bring the fuel back easily, since it had been equipped with tanks for moving fuel between supply rockets and the balloons.
Thunder in Space in Amazing Stories June 21/1
From the ferry, the passengers transferred to a gulfhopper awaiting them in a parking orbit around the Moon.
Enemies of the System in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction June 5/2
The ferry carried the new exiles from Armstrong up to the Confu, waiting in orbit.
Finches of Mars xvii. 92
Last modified 2020-12-28 18:23:55
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.