Japanese astronaut apologizes for feeding "fake news" he grew 9 cm

Japanese astronaut apologizes for feeding

Japanese astronaut apologizes for feeding "fake news" he grew 9 cm

Kanai wrote on Twitter: "Good morning, everybody".

Norishige Kanai told his social media followers on Twitter that he is now anxious he might not fit into the seat of the Russian Soyuz vehicle that is due to bring him home in June.

Norishige Kanai waves at a send-off ceremony in Kazakhstan, December 17, 2017. "We had our bodies measured after reaching space, and wow, wow, wow, I had actually grown by as much as 9 centimetres (3.5 inches)!"

According to NASA, astronauts tend to grow between 2 and 5 centimeters during space missions because their spines extend with the absence of gravity. "This is the most I've grown in three weeks since junior high school". Upon returning to earth and its gravitational pull, astronauts return to their usual height.

Astronaut Scott Kelly returned to Earth after a year in space to find that he was two inches taller than his own twin brother, NASA said. "As a matter of fact, the tightness I had in my shoulders is gone so I'm pretty certain I did not grow 9 cm". This usually only accounts for an inch or so of growth, which will return to normal back on Earth. "This makes me a little anxious that I might not be able to fit in the Soyuz seats for our return", he added.

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What's rare is the rate and amount Lt Kanai has grown in three weeks of living on the space lab.

"Nine centimetres is a lot, but it is possible, knowing that every human body is different", Libby Jackson of the UK Space Agency had told BBC News.

Thankfully, with a growth of only two centimetres, he would be well below the 191-centimetre limit.

That led to headlines and social media posts fretting over whether Kanai would indeed be able to fold his new frame into the Soyuz spacecraft - a notoriously cramped space - upon his return to earth in June. He'd have to grow more than another 9cm for his height to become a problem.

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