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Space & Astronomy

Japanese astronaut experiences 'growth spurt'

By T.K. Randall
January 9, 2018 · Comment icon 9 comments



Kanai (right) pictured alongside his Expedition 54/55 crewmates. Image Credit: NASA / Bill Ingalls
Lieutenant Norishige Kanai has grown so much while in space that he may no longer fit in the Soyuz capsule.
The peculiar phenomenon is known to occur due to the stretching of the spine in zero-gravity, however few astronauts have ever reported such a significant and rapid level of growth.

Now 9cm taller than he was a mere three weeks before arriving on the International Space Station, Kanai has expressed concern over whether he will still be able to fit inside the return Soyuz capsule which has a limited seat height due to its notoriously cramped interior.

"I have a major announcement today," Kanai wrote on social media. "We had our bodies measured after reaching space, and wow, wow, wow, I had actually grown by as much as 9cm!"

"I grew like some plant in just three weeks. Nothing like this since high school. I'm a bit worried whether I'll fit in the Soyuz seat when I go back."
Typically an astronaut's height will return to normal within a short time of arriving back on Earth.

Update:

Kanai has since backtracked on his claim and now maintains that the original measurement of 9cm was an error. The actual amount by which he has grown is only 2cm, as per normal expectations.

"This mis-measurement appears to have become a big deal, so I must apologize for this terrible fake news," he wrote. "It appears I can fit on the Soyuz, so I'm relieved."

Source: Independent | Comments (9)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by 3.0 5 years ago
Classic Monster Movie Trailers The Amazing Colossal Man
Comment icon #2 Posted by pallidin 5 years ago
He'll fit...
Comment icon #3 Posted by Fila 5 years ago
Looks like Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story
Comment icon #4 Posted by joc 5 years ago
He didn't grow one millimeter. He just actually is the height he is in space...but because he has lived his life on Planet Earth...which has Gravity....which eventually pulls everything and everyone down into itself....his full height potential isn't reached...probably has poor posture from sitting so much...what do I know?
Comment icon #5 Posted by seeder 5 years ago
It was fake news.... to a point
Comment icon #6 Posted by Saru 5 years ago
More of an error than fake news ( despite his use of the term )given that he legitimately did announce that he had grown 9cm and believed it to be true at the time. I imagine he will be a lot more careful about checking his facts before making any more grandiose claims on social media in future.
Comment icon #7 Posted by pallidin 5 years ago
I wonder if I can talk my doctor into recommending an excursion to the ISS to temporarily relieve back pain. Tried my washing machine to spin me around to lengthen my spine but it was cramped, and, I forgot about the last rinse cycle, dang it.
Comment icon #8 Posted by RAyMO 5 years ago
A bit worrying though, I in my naivety thought these astronauts were involved in carrying out complex activities / experiments in space - sort of worrying that one would make such a error in measuring a person's height and then proceed to tell the whole planet without double checking. Really social media has a lot to answer for - it seems to create a need in some people to rush to twit without due consideration .
Comment icon #9 Posted by pallidin 5 years ago
Fully understandable... when he was being measured he started to float upwards... the other astronaut measuring didn't catch that.


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