The conditions under which astronauts and cosmonauts live and work in space are of continued interest to scholars and the public. One of the questions most often asked by schoolchildren (probably because the adults are too embarrassed to ask) is how astronauts go to the bathroom in space. This is an unflown example of a human waste disposal unit--a toilet--designed for use on board the Soyuz spacecraft.
The Soyuz spacecraft has had the longest operational life of any human-rated spacecraft, and it is still in use after its inaugural flight in 1967. This hardware therefore has been an essential artifact of the life of many astronauts and cosmonauts in Earth-orbit. This particular space toilet is configured for use by male cosmonauts.
Gift of American Standard Manufactured by JSC Zvezda, Russia