340 days in space and astronaut returns taller!

340 days in space and astronaut returns taller!

Astronaut Scott Kelly returned to earth after being in space for 340 days and besides bragging about being the American who was on the longest space flight, he can also brag about returning taller and younger than he would have been if he'd never left. Kelly came back to Earth two inches taller than he was when he left. His increased height isn't due to bone growth, however. Being up in space where there is no gravity exerting force on the human body means that a person's spine can stretch out by as much as three inches.

More astonishing than his growth, however, is that Kelly actually came back to Earth 8.6 milliseconds younger than he would have been had he never left, a phenomenon called time dilation: if two objects are moving at different speeds, time runs more quickly for the slower object. Since Kelly was moving at faster speeds on the ISS for almost a year, time ran just a bit slower for him.

It's a pity though that his height will quickly return to what it was before he left thanks to Earth's gravity pulling back on him now that he's terrestrial again. As for the younger age, staying up in space for almost a year to be 8.6 milliseconds younger seems hardly worth it!

(Internet Sources)

Featured Image: NASA

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