an emergency spaceship; lifeboat n.
Sharon was still by the control panel when the lifeship whistled down through the upper reaches of Callisto’s thin atmosphere.
Pedersen was hauling a bulky, burlap-wrapped package aboard the lifeship—four similar ones lay on the floor just outside the tube.
We limped in using a jury-rigged line from the lifeship’s alphatron and made a something-slightly-less than a crash landing here on Pluto.
He dropped from the larger ship in the tiniest of lifeships, and taking the barrier-generator with him, he let the Loki drive across the System towards Mephisto, while he in the lifeship gave a short, ten-minute thrust at 10-Gs and set up the barrier again.
Object may be to mask escape of lifeship, but no such vessel detected as yet.
Well, there’s only one place where a lifeship could go out here, and that’s the wild star.
Commander Hatch looked down at his feet. ‘I was in a space can once,’ he said. ‘They don’t last forever. I—’ He let his voice trail away. Wilson looked into their faces. The cold, bleak fact was so clear in their faces that he could not ignore it. He was forced to recognize the fact that a lifeship is no spacecraft. A lifeship is a flimsy tin can, as spaceworthy as an open raft on the broad ocean, as spaceworthy as an umbrella in a windstorm.
Then we’ll tell him that we accept his proposal, and let him take us to the life-ship. Once we have examined the engine, we should be able to see whether or not it is in working order.
‘To a lifeship!’ brayed the Albenareth crewman, almost buzzing the human words. ‘Turn about. Go forward! Not to the stern.’
They cut loose the kzin lifeship, with Halloran inside, five hours later, and then turned a shielded ion drive against their orbital path to drop inward and lose themselves in the Belt.
Interstellar cruisers had learned through their own disasters to have twice the number of emergency lifeships on board than they needed, ostensibly because one part of the ship might be impossible to reach. But in reality, they wanted to show that they had no liability should something go horribly, awfully wrong.
Harry Walton, "Moon of Exile"
Last modified 2021-08-14 00:13:50
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.