A Japanese astronaut by the name of Norishige Kanai spread false news of his extreme height increase in space, which caused much sensation. Kanai is currently on a mission to the International Space Station and last week he claimed that he had grown 9 centimeters (cm) or 3.5 inches while in space. He further expressed his concern about whether he’d be able to adjust back upon his return to Earth.
‘Growing’ in space is not an unusual phenomenon as most astronauts ‘grow’ during protracted space missions because their spines extend in the absence of gravity. However, mostly these increases are limited to a couple of maximum and the effects disappear once they are back on Earth.
Kanai, who is 41-years-old, went on a six-month long space mission last month. He is a member of the International Space Station expedition 54/55 of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
On Monday, he posted on Twitter that he had a ‘big announcement’.
“My height’s been measured here in space and somehow, somehow, I’ve grown 9 cm! In only three weeks I’ve really shot up, something I haven’t seen since high school,” he tweeted.
“This makes me a little worried that I might not be able to fit in the Soyuz seats for our return.”
However, just over a day later, he apologized over the ‘fake news’, saying that he had measured himself again after his captain raised his concern over the apparent growth. He said that after checked again, he found out that he had only grown 2 cm from his Earth-bound height.
“This mis-measurement appears to have become a big deal, so I must apologize for this terrible fake news,” he tweeted, without explaining how the original miscalculation had occurred.
“It appears I can fit on the Soyuz, so I‘m relieved,” he added.