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Astronaut Sorry for 'Fake News' on Growth Spurt

He says he grew a lot less than 3.5 inches
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2018 3:30 AM CST
Astronaut Sorry for 'Fake News' on Growth Spurt
Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai looks on during inspecting his space suit prior to the launch of Soyuz-FG rocket at the Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017.   (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky, Pool)

(Newser) – Japanese astronaut Norishege Kanai says he is getting taller in space—but not at a rate that will make him too tall to return to Earth in the Soyuz spacecraft. The astronaut has apologized for claiming that he grew 3.5 inches after arriving at the International Space Station in mid-December, the BBC reports. He now says the figure he tweeted was a "measurement mistake" and he really grew 2 centimeters, or 0.8 inches.

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He says he measured himself again because Russian commander Anton Shkaplerov was skeptical. "I must apologize for this terrible fake news," Kanai said Wednesday, per Reuters. "It appears I can fit on the Soyuz, so I'm relieved." Astronauts tend to temporarily grow an inch or two taller in space when the lack of gravity elongates their spines, but 3.5 inches would have been very unusual. (Read more astronaut stories.)

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