astroengineering n.

large-scale structural engineering in space, esp. the modification of the physical structure or configuration of a planet, a star, or an entire solar system; cf. terraforming n.; (also) (broadly) any form of engineering in or related to space, such as the design or operation of the propulsion systems of spacecraft


  • 1971 Who Watches Whom? in Nature 1 Oct. 295/3 page image

    We might first detect other civilizations through evidence of astro-engineering activities such as the construction of devices to capture all the energy of a central star.

  • 1973 C. Sagan Cosmic Connection ii. xxiii. 162 Carl Sagan

    It is not out of the question that a more wholesale rearrangement of our Solar System will begin, first slowly and then at a more rapid rate—astroengineering projects to move the planets about, to rearrange their masses for the convenience of mankind, his descendants, and his inventions.

  • 1986 G. Benford & D. Brin Heart of Comet (1987) i. 70 David Brin Gregory Benford bibliography

    He had applied to Berkeley for graduate school in astroengineering.

  • 1987 M. Kandel tr. S. Lem Fiasco 65 Stanisław Lem bibliography

    The moon first had to be stripped, by astroengineering, of its thick atmosphere.

  • 1994 J.-L. Trudel Stella Nova in On Spec Spring 34/2 page image Jean-Louis Trudel bibliography

    They already pursued astroengineering on a grand scale—at what cost in sentient lives?

  • 1994 A. C. Clarke Snows of Olympus (1996) 40 page image Arthur C. Clarke bibliography

    We may have to dismantle Phobos—perhaps using it as construction material—or push it up to a higher orbit, like its smaller companion Deimos. Such feats of astroengineering lie centuries in the future.

  • 2004 P. F. Hamilton Pandora’s Star v. 129 Peter F. Hamilton bibliography

    ‘How come you didn’t build this at the High Angel?’ Wilson asked. ‘I know it would add another two hundred and thirty light-years to the trip, but that’s not much to this ship if I read the specs right. And they have all the astroengineering expertise there.’

  • 2014 G. Benford & L. Niven Shipstar 131 page image Larry Niven Gregory Benford bibliography

    Karl hadn’t thought this way. Engineers don’t, he mused, and then recalled that his three degrees were in electric, mechanical, and astroengineering.

Research requirements

antedating 1971

Earliest cite

in Nature, in a alien-life-in-outer-space context

Last modified 2022-04-14 14:39:50
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.