Have Space Suit - Will Travel by Robert Heinlein:
Science Fiction Inventions, Technology and Ideas

"If the very thought of a new Heinlein novel doesn’t overstimulate your salivary glands, no words of mine will do so. For almost two decades (he made his debut in Astounding just 19 years ago this month), Heinlein has been showing the rest of us what science fiction is and how to write it; and he gets, if possible, even better with the years.

Just in case, however, you are a newcomer to this kind of reading, you’ll want to know that this latest Heinlein, exciting in action and provocative in thinking, is a particularly fine example of what one might call gradualism. I can't recall that the author has ever begun a story on such a simple, realistic, this-could-happen-first-thing-tomorrow-morning level. This is the future as we can almost taste it this very moment. And from there he leads you . . . well, it would be unfair to anticipate his startling revelations of the extent of space-time and our place therein. But along the way you’ll find spectacular perils, fascinating people (not all of them human )— and an illuminating compendious course on the nature and needs of space suits."

('Have Spacesuit, Will Travel' by Robert Heinlein)

The last of the juvenile (written for young people) novels from Heinlein, it was serialized in F&SF but published the same year as a book. The descriptions of space suits makes use of Heinlein's expertise as a civilian aeronautics engineer at a laboratory which developed pressure suits for use at high altitudes.

In a near-future Earth, lunar bases exist but are very expensive to visit; high school senior Kip Russell is determined to get a ticket.

Select an invention:

Chin Plates - hands-free controls
A means of control within a space suit helmet; switching between options with the chin.

Chin Window
An aperture that allows an astronaut to see his own feet (greater field of view).

Skew-Flip Turnover
Used halfway to the destination by torch ships to slow for one's destination.


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