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

Air-o-Stat  
  Provides life-giving air in spacecraft.  

Seams squealed, ripping open as the rivets sprung; the plates twisted tortuously under the unprecedented strains. Air pressure dropped as the precious mixture whistled out through a dozen tiny vents. The obsolete air-o-stat pumped valiantly in a grim losing battle.
From Satellite Five, by Arthur K. Barnes.
Published by Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1938
Additional resources -

They could have used NASA's air leak sensor - or at least some of Heinlein's tag-alongs.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Satellite Five
  More Ideas and Technology by Arthur K. Barnes
  Tech news articles related to Satellite Five
  Tech news articles related to works by Arthur K. Barnes

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