Japanese Astronaut Causes Stir After Thinking He Grew 3.5 Inches in Space

After claiming to have gained a significant height increase in one month while on a mission to the International Space Station, a Japanese astronaut issued an apology, saying he simply made an error in measurement.

Norishige Kanai, 41, made headlines and caused a stir on social media after announcing on Monday that he had grown 9 centimeters (3.5 inches) in space. Kanai wrote his fears on Twitter that he may no longer fit in his spacecraft or it may affect the safety of his return.

“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 on Monday.

This makes me a little worried that I might not be able to fit in the Soyuz seats for our return.”

Photo via Twitter / @Astro_Kanai

On Wednesday, a day after international news platforms covered his unusual predicament, Kanai issued an apology saying he made a mistake with his measurement.

The 41-year-old astronaut, who is currently on a six-month mission in the International Space Station, explained that his captain questioned his claimed growth, so he decided to measure himself again. As it turned out, he had actually just stretched 2 centimeters (0.8 inch) from his original height. He did not explain how he miscalculated the first time.

“This mismeasurement appears to have become a big deal, so I must apologize for this terrible fake news,” he tweeted, according to Reuters“It appears I can fit on the Soyuz, so I‘m relieved.”

While astronauts are indeed known to “grow” during protracted space missions due to the absence of gravity which causes their spines to extend, such growth is usually limited to a couple of centimeters at maximum and normalizes once they are back on Earth.

Support our Journalism with a Contribution

Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.

Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.

However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.

We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for everyone’s support. We love you all and can’t appreciate you guys enough.

NextShark is a leading source covering Asian American News and Asian News including business, culture, entertainment, politics, tech and lifestyle.

For advertising and inquiries: info@nextshark.com