INTERNATIONAL Space Station tensions escalated last night following a tense standoff between Russian and American astronauts over who owned the toilet paper.
Explorer Mikhail Dzyuba was reported to have “seized control” of the toiletries compartment in the station, which is situated at the Russian end of the orbiting vessel. Fellow countrymen Aleksandr Artemyev and Oleg Kokorin stood by their compatriot in retaliation for imposing sanctions on the ground.
Japanese astronaut Koichi Tamori, who has been caught in the middle of the feud, told WWN today via Skype that he “wants nothing to do with the politics” on board the station, but hopes to get a roll or two for himself going forward.
“It’s kind of a sticky situation at the moment,” he explained. “Myself and the Americans are using old bits of magazines like National Geographic and Time. They’d cut the hole off you. The paper is so thick with ink that it’s very hard to flush, even with the vacuum toilets we have here.”
The stand off came to a turtle head at around 4pm GMT yesterday, whilst passing over the Indian ocean.
“I don’t know what it is, but that part of the world always gives me the shits every time we pass over it,” said American astronaut Steven Smith. “I went to grab a roll from the locker when I realised there was none left. I knocked on the Ruskies door and they wouldn’t answer, but left a note outside stating they were seizing control of the stations toilet paper.”
The two countries have long cooperated closely on space exploration despite their clashes in foreign policy. However, the latest Ukrainian conflict has fueled tensions in the station.
Fellow, American astronaut Richard Macchio told his Russian counterparts today that they can’t stay locked up in their quarters for ever, and threatened to “airlock” their section and send it spinning through space if they fail to supply toilet paper.
“We will not negotiate with toilet terrorists,” Macchio shouted through the closed Russian hatch. “If you want a cold war we’ll give it to you one, in the form of an unplanned space mission without oxygen.”
The US said it is still keen to keep the $100 billion ISS flying until at least 2024, four years beyond its original target.