Japanese astronaut apologises for overestimation of growth spurt

Norishige Kanai
Norishige Kanai Photo credit: Getty

Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai has been forced to apologise, after reports of a nine-centimetre growth in space proved to be false.

Several news outlets reported that Mr Kanai had grown nine centimetres in three weeks, before he discovered his actual growth was just two centimetres.

"This mis-measurement appears to have become a big deal, so I must apologise for this terrible fake news," Mr Kanai tweeted.

"It appears I can fit on the Soyuz, so I'm relieved."

Astronauts often grow in space due to the effect of gravity on their spines, but a nine-centimetre growth was quite large.

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

"There's a range of growth for different people and everybody responds differently."

Originally, Mr Kanai had been concerned he would not be able to fit into the Russian spacecraft taking him back to Earth.

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


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