deep space n.

that part of space far away from planets or stars

Occasionally (as in 1921 quot.) used to refer to regions of space that are outside Earth's atmosphere.

  • 1921 N.Y. Times 12 Nov. 21/8

    The scientist estimates the cost of the rocket ship, which he sees taking man on his first trip into deep space, at $2,000,000,000. Such a journey, he prophesies, ‘is only a step within the cramped confines of the solar system’ and should be the beginning of far more ambitious adventures into the far-off heavens.

  • 1937 E. E. Smith Galactic Patrol in Astounding Stories Dec. 76/1 page image Edward E. Smith bibliography

    Alone in his ship, and in deep space although he was, he blushed painfully as he remembered what had happened to him during that visit.

  • 1939 E. E. Smith in Astounding Science-Fiction Oct. 26/2 page image Edward E. Smith bibliography

    Like most of the girls here, I suppose, I have never been out in deep space at all. Besides a few hops to the moon, I have taken only two flits, and they were both only interplanetary.

  • 1941 R. A. Heinlein in Astounding Science Fiction Oct. 150/2 Robert A. Heinlein

    It was luck that had placed the Ship near a star with a planetary system, luck that the Ship arrived there with a speed low enough for Hugh to counteract it in a ship’s auxiliary craft, luck that he learned to handle it after a fashion before they starved or lost themselves in deep space.

  • 1951 Dark Tower in Startling Stories July 28/1 page image Wallace West bibliography

    He had to put that limitation on to avoid draining his power packs on the hunks of rock that float endlessly through deep space.

  • 1965 F. Saberhagen Masque of the Red Shift in Worlds of If Nov. 39/1 page image Fred Saberhagen bibliography

    Why, though, should any ship approach and hail him in deep space?

  • 1987 D. Brin Uplift War 592 David Brin

    Let them engage in uplift of their new clients from deepspace!

  • 1989 D. Dvorkin & D. Dvorkin Star Trek: Next Generation: Captains' Honor viii. 155 David Dvorkin Daniel Dvorkin bibliography

    The appearance of the Centurion on the scene, coming in unexpectedly from deep space…had precipitated the battle.

  • 1990 R. L. Forward Rocheworld 131 Robert L. Forward

    The thought of leaving twenty brave people stranded in deep space…brought the nation up short.

  • 1991 M. Weiss King’s Test i. i. 5 Margaret Weis bibliography

    The guard…looked as if he wished the ship’s hull would crack open, suck him into deepspace.

  • 2015 A. D. Foster Force Awakens 166 Alan Dean Foster bibliography

    Visual recognition ignited a small but very important internal sequence that concluded with the GA-97 sending out a compressed signal that was bounced around, coded, decoded, encrypted, and flashed out into deep space.


Research requirements

antedating 1921

Earliest cite

N.Y. Times

Research History
Mike Christie submitted a 1941 cite from Robert Heinlein's "Common Sense".
Enoch Forrester submitted a cite from a reprint of E.E. Smith's "Grey Lensman"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1939 first magazine appearance.
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from the 1950 first book publication of E.E. Smith's "Galactic Patrol"; Mike Christie verified it in the 1937 serialization in Astounding.
Ammon Shea submitted a 1921 cite from the NY Times.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2015 cite from Alan Dean Foster.

Earliest cite in OED2: 1952.

Last modified 2021-02-02 21:22:27
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.