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"It's hard to tell stories about critters that are not human. John W. Campbell tried it, in "Twilight," and everybody says it's a wonderful story, and nobody ever reads it twice."
- Jerry Pournelle

Space Lock  
  An airlock on a spacecraft.  

This is a very early use of this phrase.

A quarter of an hour later the people who were to remain here on this planet saw the first of the monsters of the space rise slowly from the ground and leap swiftly forward, then, one every ten seconds, the others leapt in swift pursuit, rushing swiftly across half a world to the giant space lock that would let them out into the void. Then one at a time they passed out into the mighty sea of space, Pirates of Space! From one system, careening on its way through the void, they were sweeping out to another system, to take it, and overrun it with their people!
From The Black Star Passes, by John W. Campbell.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1930
Additional resources -

Compare to the inflatable air lock from Murray Leinster's 1953 novel Space Tug and to 'Doc' Smith's use of the more conventional air lock in his 1928 novel Skylark of Space. Also, see this variation on the force field idea, the pressure curtain from Niven and Pournelle's 1974 classic The Mote in God's Eye.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Black Star Passes
  More Ideas and Technology by John W. Campbell
  Tech news articles related to The Black Star Passes
  Tech news articles related to works by John W. Campbell

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