The astronauts' union, Astronauts, Researchers & Space Engineers, is calling for a travel allowance, a ban on working nights, triple-time pay for working weekends and for all spacecraft to carry a guard. Many astronauts are also demanding the right to work from home.
'We have had to cancel next year's flight to Mars,' crackled the launch area's PA system, 'and delays to other services may be announced later. By the way, is that a suspicious package in your pocket?'
'This is the last straw!' said 60-year-old Ethel Brimstock as she set down her suitcase and sat wearily on it. 'It was tedious enough going through all the check-in procedures, and I really resented not being able to take a drink with me. But at least it makes a change from delays due to "leaves on the launch pad".
'There isn't even a replacement space-bus service going via the Saturn Ringsroad.'