space law n.

a body of laws governing issues relating to outer space

In quot. 1928: the physical laws of space.

  • [1928 J. M. Nichols Island of Lost Souls in Weird Tales Dec. 792/2 page image

    It can, temporarily at least, suspend immutable space law.]

  • 1939 L. A. Eshbach Mutineers of Space in Dynamic Science Stories Feb. 78/2 page image Karel Čapek bibliography

    But they will stop. Space law demands it.

  • 1941 N. Schachner Old Fireball in Astounding Science-Fiction June 80/2 page image Nat Schachner bibliography

    As space became less of a thing unknown, and law and order took the place of the old scramble for new worlds, however, codes were established, spheres delimited and space law came into being.

  • 1941 N. Schachner Old Fireball in Astounding Science-Fiction June 88/1 page image Nat Schachner bibliography

    Then you ought to know something about space law. You signed the articles and you’re bound by them for the duration. A captain has power of life and death on a trip.

  • 1942 E. Hamilton World with a Thousand Moons in Amazing Stories Dec. 87/1 page image Edmond Hamilton bibliography

    ‘But just to shoot them down!’ said Gloria horrifiedly. ‘I won’t stand for that!’ Murdock took her by the arm. ‘It’s space law, Gloria,’ he told her earnestly. ‘You’d better go back into the ship.’

  • 1954 H. Warner, Jr. Recoil in Authentic Science Fiction Aug. 69/1 page image Harry Warner, Jr. bibliography

    Space law required twice-daily reports to the nearest planet from each ship.

  • 1967 K. Laumer Spaceman! in Worlds of If June 104/2 page image Keith Laumer bibliography

    Better crawl back in your hole, Mister, before you qualify yourself for proceedings under space law.

  • 1989 Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Feb. 76 (editorial caption for Allen M. Steele’s ‘Free Beer & the William Casey Society’) page image Allen Steele

    The speaker…—a well-known attorney in space law—casually mentioned that the space shuttle could carry 2000 gallons of beer into orbit.

  • 2006 E. Moon Engaging the Enemy (2007) ii. 18 page image Elizabeth Moon bibliography

    Space law, Ky recalled, had been more arcane and confusing than n-space theory. ‘I suppose it depends on which jurisdiction we land in... wonder if Osman has a law library in his database anywhere.’

Research requirements

antedating 1939

Research History
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2006 cite from Elizabeth Moon's "Engaging the Enemy".

Last modified 2021-09-11 00:52:33
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.