"...the space defense initiative drove the USSR bankrupt, and it originated at my house in Tarzana."
What happens when something even worse than the mere absence of air lies outside your space ship?
Compare to the very early double-door vestibule from John Jacob Astor IV's A Journey in Other Worlds (1894) and the more conventional airlock from Doc Smith's Skylark of Space (1928). Also, see the pressure curtain from Niven and Pournelle's The Mote in God's eye (1974).
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'... a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk.'
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