TOKYO – Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai retracted on Wednesday his earlier claim that he had grown 9 centimeters (3.5 inches) taller in the last three weeks while on a mission to the International Space Station.
Kanai reduced the figure to 2 cm and apologized for the “fake news” on Twitter on Tuesday when he had announced his concerns over growing 9 cm due to zero gravity.
The 41-year-old’s tweet on his extraordinary growth had quickly gone viral on social media.
However, the astronaut tweeted on Wednesday to say he measured his height again on the advice of his Russian captain at the ISS, Anton Shkaplerov, who told him that the figure was too high.
Kanai said as his hips or back did not hurt, he was certain that he had not grown 9 cm, and added he relieved he would still be able to fit in the Soyuz aircraft, which had taken him to the ISS on Dec. 19.
Kanai, an engineer on his first space mission, had arrived at the ISS along with Shkaplerov and Scott Tingle of the United States.
The three astronauts, who will remain in the space station for almost half a year, joined Alexander Misurkin of Russia and US astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joseph Acaba, who have been at the ISS since September.