Astronauts were bitterly disappointed to find a card on their mat indicating that the first Royal Mail delivery to the International Space Station had been aborted. The parcels of gifts from relatives, supplies of food and scientific equipment could not be delivered because according to the card, 'no-one was home and a signature was required'. The space scientists must now collect their items from their nearest sorting office, something which is difficult to determine because of the high orbital velocity of their craft.
Ray Nacho, whose mission is to study the effect of gravitational waves on plankton, is adamant that the airlock bell was never rung. "I caught a glimpse of this guy with a bike drifting by outside the port-hole and there was no way he was hanging about to see if we were in or not. Before I could get my trousers on, there was the barely legible card on the mat and he was gone."
But a spokesman for Royal Mail contested this version of events. "He would have knocked at least twice before leaving a card, and if there was still no reply, he had instructions to leave the items with a neighbour."