“A Can of Vacuum” by L. Ron Hubbard
Publication date: December 1949
Original publication: Astounding Science Fiction
Genre: Science Fiction
Story description: A new recruit finds himself the target of a practical joke at the hands of a United Galaxies Navy project assignment officer, but the ruse backfires in a very unexpected way.
Currently available as part of the Stories from the Golden Age series, in the title One Was Stubborn.