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"I kind of take it for granted that our great-grandchildren will regard us as a sort of precursor species. That they won't think of us as human and if we could see them, we probably wouldn't think of them as human either."
- William Gibson

Schrieber Analyzer  
  Superior automatic air testing - for the discriminating space traveler.  

Whenever Wayne Hillder, space scout extraordinaire, sets down on a new planet, he has to perform a few tests. Chief among them is testing the quality of the planet's atmosphere.

Pre-exit rule number one is that air must be tested. What suited that crowd outside would not necessarily agree with him. Anyway, he'd have checked air even if his own mother had been smoking a cigar in the front rank of the audience.

The Schrieber analyzer required four minutes in which to suck a sample through the pilot-tube, take it apart, sneer at the bits, make a bacteria count and say whether its lord and master would condescend to breathe the stuff.

From Diabologic, by Eric Frank Russell.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1955
Additional resources -

The sarcastic tone of this story makes it a lot of fun to read.

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  More Ideas and Technology from Diabologic
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