spaceworthiness n.

the condition of being fit for space travel

  • 1934 E. E. Smith Skylark of Valeron in Astounding Stories Aug. 23/1 page image Edward E. Smith bibliography

    True, the focal area of the energy was an almost invisibly violet glare of incandescence, so intensely hot that the concentric shading off through blinding white, yellow, and bright-red heat brought the zone of dull red far down the side of the vessel; but that awful force had had practically no effect upon the spaceworthiness of the stanch little vessel.

  • 1952 I. Asimov Space in Space Science Fiction May 78/2 Isaac Asimov

    The Pilot remained at his post to the actual landing, his only thought that of breaking the force of the crash, of maintaining the spaceworthiness of the vessel.

  • 1988 A. C. Clarke 2061: Odyssey Three 199 Arthur C. Clarke

    It seemed the right thing to doβ€”even though, with any luck, Galaxy ’s spaceworthiness would soon be of no further concern to anyone.

  • 2004 J. Varley Red Thunder iv. 34 John Varley

    The Mark II had just received its spaceworthiness certificate from NASA.


Research requirements

antedating 1934

Earliest cite

E.E. Smith, 'Skylark of Valeron'

Research History
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from William F. Temple's "The Undiscovered Country"; his copy is in a February 1959 US edition of Nebula Science Fiction magazine, which appears to be the UK October 1958 edition with a new cover date (and US price).
Fred Galvin submitted a 1952 cite from Isaac Asimov's "Youth".
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1984 reprint of E.E. 'Doc' Smith's "Skylark of Valeron". which Mike Christie verified in its 1934 first publication.

Earliest cite in the OED: 1959. Listed in Brave New Words with an earliest date of 1934.

Last modified 2020-12-16 04:08:47
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.