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"[Science fiction] is the one literary medium left in which we have a free hand. We can do any damn thing we please."
- Alfred Bester

Life-Tubes  
  Escape pods for space ships.  

A unique term for this idea.

Could the vessel have been deserted for some reason? The crew might have mutinied, and left her in the life-tubes. She might have been robbed by pirates, and set adrift. But with the space lanes policed as they were, piracy and successful mutiny were rare.
From Salvage in Space, by Jack Williamson.
Published by Astounding Stories in 1933
Additional resources -

Compare to the life-ship from The Invisible World by Ed Earl Repp and the escape pod from Star Wars (1976) by George Lucas.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Salvage in Space
  More Ideas and Technology by Jack Williamson
  Tech news articles related to Salvage in Space
  Tech news articles related to works by Jack Williamson

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