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"Human beings hardly ever learn from the experience of others. They learn; when they do, which isn't often, on their own, the hard way."
- Robert Heinlein

Dirtside  
  The surface of a planet.  

Very early use of this phrase.

Sam stopped a passing engineer's mate. "Hey, shipmate - we're fresh caught. Where's the crew's mess?

"Clockwise about eighty and inboard, this deck." He looked them over. "Fresh caught, eh? Well, you'll find out."

"Like that, huh?"

"Worse. A madhouse squared. If I wasn't married, I'd 'a' stayed dirtside."

From Starman Jones, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Scribners in 1953
Additional resources -

This is a common phrase in science fiction. Here's another example, from Niven and Pournelle's Oath of Fealty:

"Sinclair wants to do some outside work while we're dirtside." He took out his pocket computer and wrote quickly with the attached stylus.

Compare to Farside from A Fall of Mooniest (1961) by Arthur C. Clarke.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Starman Jones
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to Starman Jones
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

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