A Japanese astronaut claimed that he grew 3.5 inches over just a few days in outer space, but apologized Tuesday and said that his statement was fabricated.
Norishige Kanai retracted his statement, saying his story that he miraculously grew 3.5 inches since arriving at the International Space Station Dec. 19 was false, reported the Washington Post. After his Russian colleague called his claim unlikely, Kanai remeasured himself, and found that he grew only 2 centimeters.
The astronaut tweeted that the claim is “fake news,” despite previously saying he grew like a plant after returning to Earth, reported the Japanese Times.
— 金井 宣茂 (@Astro_Kanai) January 9, 2018
“Good morning, everyone. Today I share some serious news,” Kanai originally tweeted. “Since coming to space, I have grown 9 centimeters. This is the most I’ve grown in three weeks since junior high school.”
— 金井 宣茂 (@Astro_Kanai) January 8, 2018
While growing 3.5 inches in outer space is highly unlikely, it is possible, Libby Jackson of the U.K. Space Agency told BBC News. While astronauts can grow in space, they revert back to their normal height once they return to Earth.
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