Will Somebody Take Me To Space, Please?

Julie Gerstein | November 17, 2012 - 1:00 pm

Space fun fact: IT MAKES YOU TALLER! Astronauts who orbit the earth have gained up to two inches in height while floating in oute0r space. The lack of gravity in space allows the vertebrae in the spine to stretch out and separate. The lack of gravitational pressure gives the spine the freedom to spread out up to three percent. Scientists haven’t figured out why this gravity trick only affects the spine, but they say the stretching out is similar to what occurs every night when we lie down to sleep. As the spine relaxes the vertebrae spread out — and if you measure yourself in the morning, you might find that you’re a centimeter to an inch taller. Sadly, the added height doesn’t last — for astronauts or the rest of us. As soon as we stand up from sleeping, and as soon as astronauts return to earth, the vertebrae are compressed again by gravity, and we lose our extra inches. [NASA]