"[Science fiction is] anything that turns you and your social context, the social you, inside out."
This is a very early use of the term "escape pod."
There were a variety of early approaches to this idea - see spacecraft rescue for more details about these programs. Also, Werner von Braun also worked on escape pod designs in the 1960's. Also compare to the Survival Bubble (Beach Ball) from Footfall (1985) by Larry Niven (w/J. Pournelle).
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'...the DS [Daily Schedule] was suddenly transformed into a valued confidante.'
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Get your grubs on.
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'Suddenly, hitherto unheard-of sums of money became available for investment in civilian orbital stations.'
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