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"We [science fiction writers] always wanted to believe in "private sector" space -- hucksters make better characters than a government does."
- Larry Niven

Self-Sealing Plastic  
  Transparent sheeting with a layer of material that would flow to staunch tiny leaks.  

But the wide roof was all the way up, now—intact. It made a great, squarish bubble, the skin of which [a 'transparent, wire-strengthened plastic '] was specially treated to stop the hard and dangerous part of the ultra-violet rays of the sun, and also the lethal portion of the cosmic rays. It even had an inter-skin layer of gum that could seal the punctures that grain-of-sand-sized meteors might make. But meteors, though plentiful in the asteroid belt, were curiously innocuous. They all moved in much the same direction as the large asteroids, and at much the same velocity—so their relative speed had to be low.
From Asteroid of Fear, by Raymond Z. Gallun.
Published by Planet Stories in 1951
Additional resources -

Compare this to Robert Heinlein's tag-along balloons from his 1948 story Gentlemen, Be Seated.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Asteroid of Fear
  More Ideas and Technology by Raymond Z. Gallun
  Tech news articles related to Asteroid of Fear
  Tech news articles related to works by Raymond Z. Gallun

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  - Self-Healing Materials For Spacecraft
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