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Human Waste Disposal Unit, Mir Space Station, Female Configuration


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Space Race exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Collection Item Summary:

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 a toilet--designed for use on board the Mir space station.

The Mir space station was once the longest-occupied space station, marking nearly 15 years of continuous occupation between its launch and de-orbit, 1986-2001. This hardware was therefore an essential artifact of the life of astronauts and cosmonauts in Earth-orbit. This particular space toilet is configured for use by female cosmonauts.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


Credit Line

Gift of American Standard Manufactured by JSC Zvezda, Russia


Overall: metal. plastic, rubber, nylon parts


  • 3-D: 36 × 48 × 78cm (14 3/16 × 18 7/8 × 30 11/16 in.)
  • Support: 45 × 25 × 36cm (17 11/16 in. × 9 13/16 in. × 14 3/16 in.)
  • Other (Tube Length, Each): 105cm (41 5/16 in.)

Country of Origin



SPACECRAFT-Manned-Life Support

Inventory Number