What Is This?

I will give you some tips: There are two, and one of them is for the ladies.

The one on the left is the first prototype of a toilet for female cosmonauts. It was flown for the first time in the Vostok 6 spacecraft, where it was used by the first woman in space, the brave Valentina Tereshkova. Valentina was one of a total of five female Soviet cosmonauts: Tatyana Kuznetsova, Irina Solovyova, Zhanna Yorkina, Valentina Ponomaryova, and herself.

What Is This?

Vostok 6 was her first mission, launched flawlessly on June 16, 1963. Valentina's call sign was Chaika, which she got while studying at the Zhukovsky Air Force Academy, where she graduated as a cosmonaut engineer. She flew alongside her comrade Valery Bykovsky, a male cosmonaut who launched two days earlier in the Vostok 5 (and later came within about five kilometers from Valentina's Vostok 6, establishing radio contact—but no, no sex). At the time she was only 23 years old, ten years younger than the youngest of the Mercury Seven astronauts, Gordon Cooper.

It took a whooping 19 years to launch another woman to orbit: Svetlana Savitskaya. Fortunately, women now go into space regularly—although still not as much as men.

The other object is a space toilet that went to orbit in the Soyuz 3.

Both look scary, unlike today's top-of-the-line NASA toilets. But then again, this was the Soviet Union's space program, where many cosmonauts died for engineering and manufacturing problems—and nobody ever knew about them. [Discover]