A Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai said Tuesday that he grew by nine centimeters since arriving at the International Space Station (ISS). Genetics obviously plays a big role, but the gravitational pull of the Earth also has a say in the matter, and Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai just discovered that the planet has been making him several inches shorter.
"I have no back pains, and actually the pain around my neck and shoulders is gone, so I doubt I'm 9 cm taller".
Norishige Kanai wrote on social media he was anxious he would not fit into the seat of the Russian Soyuz vehicle that is due to bring him home in June.
"I'm very sorry for tweeting out such fake news, "he tweeted in Japanese".
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'I grew like some plant in just three weeks.
"Good morning, everybody. I have a major announcement today".
Astronauts regularly grow in space-often as much as 2 inches-thanks to the microgravity experienced on the International Space Station.
He became a certified ISS astronaut in 2011 following a number of years as a diving medical officer for the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force.
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He joined five other worldwide astronauts in December for Expedition 54 to the global Space Station and is orbiting Earth 250 miles above. I've had physical measurements since I got to space, and, wow, I've grown by up to nine centimetres. He joked that he's anxious about fitting into his seat on the Soyuz capsule for the ride back to Earth. I haven't grown like this since high school.
He soon returned to his usual height, however, after Earth's gravity shrunk him back down to size.
The Soyuz spacecraft that ferries astronauts to and from the Space Station does have a height limit and is built for specific height requirements. A growth of a couple of centimeters might be tolerated, but a growth of 9cm could pose a problem.
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