NASA astronauts were shocked when they saw the toilet on the Soviet spacecraft Soyuz, two-time Hero of the USSR, pilot-cosmonaut Vladimir Dzhanibekov shared at a solemn event dedicated to the 45th anniversary of the docking of the Soyuz and Apollo.
According to Dzhanibekov, the toilet used by the crew members was just a hole with a valve. When Anatoly Filipchenko, a member of the backup crew was asked about the size of the output device, he answered that it was "XXXL", Dzhanibekov said.
The former cosmonaut who was part of the delegation working in Houston to organise the flight joked that "ladies lined up for Anatoly Vasilyevich [Filipchenko]'s autograph" while Alexei Leonov faded into the background.
It is known that the astronauts aboard the Apollo used special packages, which are still in use on the ISS as a backup. Toilets have been installed in Soviet ships since Yuri Gagarin's flight.
The toilet that is currently on the American segment of the ISS was made in Russia. New US ships will have American devices.
The Apollo–Soyuz was the first international space mission carried out jointly by the United States and the Soviet Union in July 1975. It is generally considered to mark the end of the space race, which had begun in 1957 with the launch of Sputnik.
The Apollo crew consisted of Thomas P. Stafford who made his fourth and last spaceflight, Vance D. Brand, and Donald K. "Deke" Slayton who were on their first spaceflight.
The Soyuz crew was made up of Alexei Leonov and Valeri Kubasov with their backup crew of Anatoly Filipchenko and Nikolai Rukavishnikov.
Alexei Leonov, a two-time Hero of the Soviet Union and the eleventh Soviet cosmonaut, made a 12-minute spacewalk on 18 March 1965, as part of the Voskhod 2 mission. In July 1975, Leonov participated in the first joint US-Soviet space mission.
Vladimir Dzhanibekov, a former cosmonaut who made five flights, spent 145 days, 15 hours, and 56 minutes in space over these five missions.