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"I'm very taken by mythology. I read it at a very early age and kept on reading it. Before I discovered science fiction I was reading mythology."
- Roger Zelazny

Suspensine  
  Slows biological functions enough to survive in airless space - for a time.  

For ultimate emergencies there was the little tank of suspensine. By turning a valve, he could release it into his air system. The gas didn't exactly induce suspended animation, but it paralyzed efferent nerves and slowed the overall metabolism to a point where a man could live for weeks on one lungful of air. It was useful in surgery, and had saved the life of more than one interplanetary explorer whose oxygen system went awry. But Riordan didn't expect to have to use it. He certainly hoped he wouldn't. It would be tedious to lie fully conscious for days waiting for the automatic signal to call Wisby.
From Duel on Syrtis, by Poul Anderson.
Published by Planet Stories in 1951
Additional resources -

Compare to the eternity drug from Far Centaurus (1944) by A.E. van Vogt.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Duel on Syrtis
  More Ideas and Technology by Poul Anderson
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