Alan Shepard infamously urinated in his spacesuit on the launchpad. His flight was supposed to be short, so nobody thought that he might have to go during the mission. In the following space missions, NASA experimented with various urine-collecting contraptions (double rubber underwear,...).

The Vostok 1 flight was much longer than that of Freedom 7 (108 minutes in space, instead of 15), and the Vostok 2 flight was even longer than that. How did the the early Russian crewed space missions deal with waste collection? Could Gagarin and Titov have urinated during their flight if they had to, or were they expected to go before the flight (albeit on the back wheel of the bus) and hold it in until their return?


1 Answer 1


According to Space Exploration and Humanity: A Historical Encyclopedia:

During Vostok, Voskhod, and Soyuz flights, urine and feces were entrained in an air stream and collected for disposal at the end of the mission

Spaceflight Life Support and Biospherics makes the same claim.

This suggests, remarkably, that there was a form of space toilet aboard or at the least a pneumatic collection hose. No other details seem to appear in those books, unfortunately, and I'm a little skeptical of the claim.

Soyuz: A Universal Spacecraft is scant on details regarding the Soyuz waste facilities, and of course they've probably evolved from those on Vostok.


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