Astronomical oops: Japanese astronaut didn't grow nine centimetres after all

Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency EFE  ArchivoMore

Mr Kanai tweeted: "Good morning, everybody".

While the three inches he's gained have put him at around six feet tall, the Russian Soyuz TMA Descent Module is created to fit astronauts of up to six foot three inches, meaning that Kanai still has a little more growing room before he'd struggle to fit.

Japanese and United States astronauts Norishige Kanai and Scott Tingle arrived at the ISS on December 19, 2017.

"My height's been measured here in space and somehow, somehow, I've grown 9 cm!"

"Very sorry for the outrageous fake news", said Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, who is on his first space mission. I haven't grown like this since high school.

This is because of the absence of gravity which allows the vertebrae in their spines to spread apart.

He quickly re-measured himself after a Russian colleague questioned the measurement and found that the growth spurt was actually less than an inch - well within the range of what astronauts usually experience in space. His initial measurement was so extreme that he anxious he'd be too big for the tight space, which contains seat liners custom-molded for each astronaut and can not fit anyone above 6 feet, 3 inches tall.

He joined five other worldwide astronauts in December for Expedition 54 to the global Space Station and is orbiting Earth 250 miles above.

And when astronauts return to earth, so too do they return to their usual height. He further expressed his concern about whether he'd be able to adjust back upon his return to Earth.

NASA says that most astronauts grow by up to 3% during stints on the Space Station, in an example of, 'f how microgravity affects our bodies.

The Soyuz spacecraft which takes the astronauts from and to Earth has a strict limit on seating height.

After an influx of media interest-and questions from his captain-Kanai chose to remeasure himself to find out how tall he had actually become.

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