Earlier today, A Japanese astronaut has revealed his confusion via Twitter after growing 9cm during his time in space after being on Board at the International Space Station for less than three weeks.
He said, “Good morning, everybody. I have a major announcement today. We had our bodies measured after reaching space, and wow, wow, wow, I had actually grown by as much as 9cm!”
Afterwards, he revealed that he is worried that he might be able to fit into spacecraft for the return flight to Earth later this year. He continued, “I grew like some plant in just three weeks. Nothing like this since high school. I’m a bit worried whether I’ll fit in the Soyuz seat when I go back.”
While growing in space is nothing new, Kanai’s growth is quite unusual. Due to the lack of gravity in space, astronaut’s spine verabrae to spread apart which results in increase in height. But these increases in height isn’t permanent since most astronauts return to their normal height shortly after their return to earth.
As of now, the Russian-built Soyuz space shuttles have a 6’4” height limit which means above average individuals aren’t selected for in-flight training most of the times.