Newstalk
Newstalk

14.05 10 Jan 2018


Share this article


A Japanese astronaut has apologised for 'fake news' after suggesting he had grown 9cm taller since arriving on the International Space Station.

41-year-old Norishige Kanai arrived on the International Space Station on December 17th, and sparked headlines when he tweeted about a significant growth spurt over the last fortnight.

In Japanese language tweets translated by Reuters, Mr Kanai said: “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 went on to suggest he was 'a little worried' he wouldn't be able to fit in his seat of the Soyuz spacecraft when returning to Earth due to the unexpected height increase.

Most astronauts do in fact grow slightly taller when in space, as the spine's vertebrae spread apart in a low gravity environment. Their height returns to normal after they arrive back on Earth.

9cm, however, would be considered a far more dramatic growth spurt than usual - with BBC reporting a typical change of around 2-5cm.

However, around a day after his initial tweets and amid significant interest back on Earth, the Japanese astronaut moved to clarify the details.

He said ISS Russian commander Anton Shkaplerov had expressed skepticism over the significant growth spurt - and a fresh measurement proved that he was in fact only 2cm taller than his Earth height. 

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

“It appears I can fit on the Soyuz, so I‘m relieved," he added.

Mr Kanai is part of ISS Expedition 54/55, and is due to remain on board the station until April.

He has shared a number of photos during his time in space so far, including of the view above Japan:


Share this article


Read more about

News

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

DOWN TO BUSINESS

DOWN TO BUSINESS

10:00-12:00

Share

Up next

FUTUREPROOF

FUTUREPROOF

12:00-13:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

13:00-18:00

Share

THE PICTURE SHOW

THE PICTURE SHOW

18:00-19:00

Share

TED RADIO HOUR

TED RADIO HOUR

19:00-20:00

Share

The Peter Casey Report

The Peter Casey Report

20:00-21:00

Share

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWST...

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWSTALK

21:00-22:00

Share

YOU COULDN'T MAKE IT UP.

YOU COULDN'T MAKE IT UP.

22:00-22:30

Share

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

22:30-23:30

Share

FUTUREPROOF

FUTUREPROOF

23:30-00:00

Share

FUTUREPROOF

FUTUREPROOF

00:00-00:15

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:15-07:00

Share

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWST...

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWSTALK

07:00-08:00

Share

BETWEEN THE LINES

BETWEEN THE LINES

08:00-09:00

Share

BOBBY'S LATE BREAKFAST

BOBBY'S LATE BREAKFAST

09:00-11:00

Share

ON THE RECORD

ON THE RECORD

11:00-13:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on