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"The world is really so surreal these days that it's necessary for us to blunt it somehow in order to stay sane. The artist functions to short-circuit the buffering mechanism, so that people can occasionally perceive the weirdness of things as they are."
- William Gibson

Space Men  
  Human beings who travel and work in space.  

This is probably the first use of this tem.

Why couldn't these polar fish survive the cold of space? Simply because the protoplasm of their tissues, based on water, would instantly become solid, and in solids as I have said, there can be no real life except perhaps in the form of suspended animation. The Space Men face no such danger, for first, their bodies are protected by this heat-resisting outer covering; and second, the liquid in their veins freezes only at absolute zero, and since it is radio-active—producing heat from within itself—it cannot get that cold even in the void. And that, friends, is the whole stupendous simple explanation.
From Revolt of the Star Men, by Raymond Z. Gallun.
Published by Wonder Stories Quarterly in 1932
Additional resources -

Just ten years later, this phrase was familiar enough to lose its hyphen; listen to this speech given to raw recruits in Robert Heinlein's 1940 story Misfit:

"Now about our job -- We didn't get one of the easy repair-and-recondition jobs on the Moon, with week-ends at Luna City, and all the comforts of home... You'll get space sick, and so homesick you can taste it, and agoraphobia. If you aren't careful you'll get ray-burnt...

"But if you behave yourself, and listen to the advice of the old spacemen, you'll come out of it strong and healthy, with a little credit stored up in the bank, and a lot of knowledge and experience that you wouldn't get in forty years on Earth. You'll be men, and you'll know it.

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  More Ideas and Technology from Revolt of the Star Men
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