planetary engineering n.

large-scale modification of the environment or geography of a planet; = terraforming n.

  • 1936 J. Williamson Cometeers in Astounding Stories July 129/1 page image Jack Williamson bibliography

    Planetary engineering is expensive, Bob…especially when the equipment would have to be brought so far. It would have been nearly impossible for any one to develop such a remote asteroid secretly.

  • 1951 A. C. Clarke Exploration of Space 118 Arthur C. Clarke

    The greatest technical achievements of the next few centuries may well be in the field of what could be called ‘planetary engineering’—the reshaping of other worlds to suit human needs.

  • 1974 M. Reynolds Second Advent in Worlds of If June 139/2 page image Mack Reynolds bibliography

    Even the planetary engineering resulting in the creation of this world took approximately seven days, using your present system of time measure.

  • 1997 W. J. Williams Lethe in Asimov’s Science Fiction Sept. page image Walter Jon Williams bibliography

    Planetary engineering on such an enormous scale, in such a short time, had never been attempted, not even on Mars…. Katrin and Davout had argued for a more elegant approach to Rhea’s problems, a reliance on organic systems to modify the planet’s extreme weather instead of assaulting Rhea with macro-tech and engineering. Theirs was the approach that finally won the support of the majority of the terraforming team.

  • 2013 S. Baxter Proxima x. 54 page image Stephen Baxter bibliography

    Yes, he had needed some big-scale equipment, but even though he had reused a solar-power station, itself a much-hated relic of the past Heroic age with its hubristic planetary engineering schemes, he would use energies of orders of magnitude less than those that had hurled Dexter Cole to Proxima.


Research requirements

antedating 1936

Earliest cite

Jack Williamson 'The Cometeers'

Research History
Mike Christie submitted a cite from a 1967 reprint of Heinlein's 1950 "Farmer in the Sky".
Rick Hauptmann submitted a 1936 cite from Jack Williamson's "The Cometeers".
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2013 cite from Stephen Baxter.

(Earliest cite in the OED: 1951)

Last modified 2021-03-11 18:53:53
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.