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"The point sticks in your head: physics rules. Virtue does not triumph unless the physics allows it."
- Larry Niven

Escapecraft  
  A small spacecraft used when abandoning the main ship.  

Three minutes later the little spaceboat pulled out from the side of the cruiser. Designed for expeditionary work and tool-carrying rather than as an escapecraft, it was not inclosed.
Technovelgy from The Ethical Equations, by Murray Leinster.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1945
Additional resources -

Compare to the emergency space-boat from Revolt of the Star Men (1932) by Raymond Z. Gallun, the escape pod from Star Wars (1976) by George Lucas, the survival bubble from Footfall (1985) by Niven & Pournelle, life tubes from Liners of Space (1930) by Jim Vanny, the life ship from The Invisible World by Ed Earl Repp and the emergency lifeboats from Triplanetary (1934) by 'Doc' Smith.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Ethical Equations
  More Ideas and Technology by Murray Leinster
  Tech news articles related to The Ethical Equations
  Tech news articles related to works by Murray Leinster

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