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"I can remember when the first pulsars were discovered. I was able to go and sit down and listen to graduate students talking about what their theories, to explain what pulsars really were."
- Vernor Vinge

Membrane Balloon Helmet  
  A selectively permeable membrane worn as a helmet.  

When Hanville Svetz, time traveler from our future, tried the air in 12th century Britain, it was a bit rich for him.

When next he left the extension cage, carrying the flight stick, Svetz was wearing another spin-off from the interstellar-exploration industries. It was a balloon, and he wore it over his head. It was also a selectively permeable membrane, intended to pass certain gasses in and others out, to make a breathing-air mixture inside. It was nearly invisible except at the rim. There, where light was refracted most severely, the balloon showed as a narrow golden circle enclosing Svetz's head. The effect was not unlike a halo as shown in medieval paintings. But Svetz didn't know about medieval paintings.
From The Flight of the Horse, by Larry Niven.
Published by Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1969
Additional resources -

This is a great idea - assuming that the parts of the atmosphere that you find essential are present.

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