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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

Air-o-Stat  
  Provides life-giving air in spacecraft.  

Seams squealed, ripping open as the rivets sprung; the plates twisted tortuously under the unprecedented strains. Air pressure dropped as the precious mixture whistled out through a dozen tiny vents. The obsolete air-o-stat pumped valiantly in a grim losing battle.
From Satellite Five, by Arthur K. Barnes.
Published by Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1938
Additional resources -

They could have used NASA's air leak sensor - or at least some of Heinlein's tag-alongs.

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  More Ideas and Technology from Satellite Five
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