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"If I had to get a new Ph.D. now, I'd get it in polymer engineering - the manipulation of matter."
- Bart Kosko

Asbestos Sunshade  
  A means of shielding oneself from the sun's rays.  

"Listen!" he said at last, angrily. "You know it's death to lie to me, Uncle Dudley! I know things about space suits, and that they can screen an awful lot of heat away from a man's body. But I've always heard that, even so, it's dangerous to wander around on the sunward side of Mercury—if a fellow happens to wander too far. Let me see that space armor you use!"

Joshua Briggs obeyed promptly, opening a supply cabinet in the wall. Southern took out the vacuum armor hanging there beside several curious umbrella-like sunshades of asbestos fabric. He examined the armor carefully, especially the heavy, insulated boots. It was all standard equipment, exactly like his own space suit...

Presently, scientist and outlaw were plodding across the desert toward the fuel vault two miles away. In addition to their asbestos sunshades, they carried slings of metal webwork at their belts, with which to transport the small drums of compact but fearfully powerful atomic fuel, which they were going to bring back for Southern's space ship.

Vince Southern felt cool and comfortable in his space suit, shaded as it was by the asbestos shield he held over his helmet. This much was all logical and in accord with science. The direct rays of the sun were screened away from him, and the Mercurian air, being extremely thin, could not transmit much heat to his armor.

From The Achilles Heel, by Raymond Z. Gallun.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1940
Additional resources -

A somewhat larger scale "sunshade" was proposed by sf great Arthur C. Clarke. His short story Summertime on Icarus was published in 1960; it describes a method for getting a research ship closer to the sun than ever before using a comet:

Everything had been carefully planned, years in advance, as part of the International Astrophysical Decade. Here was a unique opportunity for a research ship to get within a mere seventeen million miles of the sun, protected from its fury by a two-mile-thick shield of rock and iron. In the shadow of Icarus, the ship could ride safely round the central fire which warmed all the planets, and upon which the existence of all life depended.

Also, see the insosuit from Isaac Asimov's 1942 short story Runaround.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Achilles Heel
  More Ideas and Technology by Raymond Z. Gallun
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