Tuesday, 22 May, 2018

Japanese astronaut tweets his concern after growing 9cm in space

China's space station is not out of control and falling to Earth, space agency tries to assure public Japanese astronaut worried after growing 9cm in space
Velma Reese | 10 January, 2018, 06:24

A few hours later, Kanai tweeted that his captain said the 9 cm spurt seemed wrong, and that after remeasuring, he found he'd only grown 2 cm, well within the normal range.

Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai has grown 9cm after going to the International Space Station, according to posts from his social media feed. In a statement, though, Kanai has expressed concern about whether or not this could affect his chances of getting home in one piece.

'We had our bodies measured after reaching space, and wow, wow, wow, I had actually grown by as much as 9cm!

"I'm a bit anxious whether I'll fit in the Soyuz seat when I go back", he said, prompting tens of thousands of reactions on social media.

"I'm a bit relieved as I'll probably fit into the Soyuz back home", he said.

NASA scientists say astronauts can grow up to three percent taller while in space or around five centimetres for someone 1.8 metres high. Kanai had better think short thoughts and spend some time pushing his head against the ISS walls to try and squash himself back down a bit. The country's first astronauts, the legendary Mercury Seven crew including John Glenn and Alan Shepard, were all under 182cm - any more would be too much inside the claustrophobic Mercury capsule.

He joined Commander Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos and flight engineer Scott Tingle of Nasa, who docked their Soyuz spacecraft about 250 miles (400 km) above Earth at 8.39am GMT on December 19, 2017.

Iranian oil tanker burns, 32 missing after collision off China's coast
Officials have confirmed that the operation has been made hard by the weather conditions and smoke coming from the ship. Officials have also confirmed the launch of an investigation into the collision, which happened on Saturday evening.

The phenomenon of astronauts growing due to the low gravity of space is well known and they do return to their normal height upon their return.

"Nine centimetres is a lot, but it is possible, knowing that every human body is different", Libby Jackson of the UK Space Agency told BBC News. Later recruits could exceed that limit in the space shuttle program, though some flirted with the restriction among the celestial bodies.

Astronaut Scott Kelly returned to Earth after a year in space to find that he was two inches taller than his own twin brother, NASA said.

An exam of John Phillips, an astronaut on the ISS in 2005, determined that the backs of his eyes were flatter and pushed his retinas forward. His vision later improved to 20/50 and remained there, even years later.

And yet, some dangers will always be present and risks only reduced, chief among them radiation from the sun and galactic cosmic rays.

Earth's magnetic field helps protect humans from the sun's radiation. But that isn't true for space, or for Mars.

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