Sci-tech

Japanese astronaut thanks Russian commander for spotting 'measurement mistake'

Japanese astronaut thanks Russian commander for spotting 'measurement mistake'

The 41-year-old Kanai, who went to space last month for a almost six-month mission, posted on Twitter on Monday that he had "a big announcement".

Lt Kanai aired concerns he would grow so tall that he might not fit into the seat of the Russian Soyuz vehicle scheduled to bring him home in June.

An apology for "tweeting out such fake news" didn't come from a media member accused by President Trump, but from a Japanese astronaut whose growth in outer space was miscalculated. "Since coming to space, I have grown 9 centimeters".

On Jan. 8 Norishige Kanai, a 41-year-old rookie astronaut with JAXA, Japan's space agency, tweeted his shock that he had measured 9 cm taller than on the day of his departure.

This is a known phenomenon that astronauts "grow" during the space missions because their spines extend in the absence of gravity, but the gains are generally limited to a couple of centimetres and disappear once they are back on the ground. I haven't grown like this since high school.

He joked: "This makes me a little anxious that I might not be able to fit in the Soyuz seats for our return".

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Kanai has been on a mission to the International Space Station since December 17 and is expected to stay until June.

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

Astronauts can grow while in space and return to a normal height when they go back to Earth.

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

He expressed fears he may not fit into the Soyuz spacecraft for his return to Earth - but later said sorry for getting his height wrong.

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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