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

Space-Armor  
  Special shielding worn against rays and explosives.  

This is a very early use of this phrase.

It must have been over two hours later that a huge torpedo set in motion by the forces of the Black Emperor, struck the ship. The explosion rolled her completely over, and tore a jagged though not disabling hole in her side. The air puffed out from the control room compartment, but the men who labored so feverishly there, were clad in heavy space armor, and aside from being badly bruised they were unhurt.
Technovelgy from Revolt of the Star Men, by Raymond Z. Gallun.
Published by Wonder Stories Quarterly in 1932
Additional resources -

For example, here is how the phrase was used by Doc Smith in his 1934 novel Triplanetary. In the novel, "space armor" is often used interchangably with "suit of space" (space suit); it is also written with a hyphen as "space-armor." Smith does distinguish an "emergency suit" from space armor.

As seen below, space armor does have its limits.

Through the aperture thus made Costigan could plainly see the pirate in the space-armor of the chief engineer - an armor which was proof against rifle fire and which could reflect and neutralize for some little time even the terrific beam Costigan was employing... The officer touched a trigger, there was a double report, ear-shattering in that narrowly confined space, and the pirate's body literally flew into mist as a half-kilogram shell tore through his armor and exploded.

I think that McDermott and Miller deserve a tie for first use of this term, because they use it in The Duel on the Asteroid, which appeared in Wonder Stories, January, 1932:

And he would fall with the same near-weightlessness, would fairly drift through the airless void that surrounded this pocket-planet... Light as he was, the fall jarred him as would a twenty-foot drop in space-armor on Earth or Venus.

Compare to vacuum armor from Skylark Three (1930) by Doc Smith, Osprey space armor from Salvage in Space (1933) by Jack Williamson, Dirigible Space Armor (Working Space Suits) from Collision Orbit (1941) by Jack Williamson, and space armor from Cities in Flight (1957) by James Blish.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Revolt of the Star Men
  More Ideas and Technology by Raymond Z. Gallun
  Tech news articles related to Revolt of the Star Men
  Tech news articles related to works by Raymond Z. Gallun

Space-Armor-related news articles:
  - NASA's Meteorite-Resistant Fabric Perfect For Space Armor

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'Warrior Suit' Combat Exoskeleton Project Still Alive
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Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
Russia Working On Military Exoskeletons

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