Question: Why is it that people get taller when they go to outer space faster?

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  1. toadslayer…? creepy name.

    yes our bone system is kind of funny…..It is indeed true that you get taller in space (up to 2 inches for a 12 week mission in space), but that’s just because there’s less pressure on your spine! So normally, when we wake in the morning, our spines have rested and been able to stretch out. By the end of the day you will be smaller than you woke up, because for the entire day there has been compression on your spine from sitting and walking etc.

    Same thing happens in space, because of less gravity and lots of floating around, there is no pressure on the spine and it gets to stretch out a little! But……within days of being back on earth, they’ll be back to normal size again!

    Your bones also go thinner when in space if you’re not careful. Bone is a living tissue and is constantly being broken down by cells called osteo(=bone)clasts and fresh bone is made by osteoblasts. Believe it or not, but you have a new skeleton every 10 years! When people gain weight, the body automatically makes the bones thicker so they can carry the weight. In space, when they’re just floating around, the body notices that you don’t really need your bones much so they automatically make your bones a little thinner!

    To prevent this, they make astronauts in space do exercise on a bike etc (probably strapped in so they don’t float away…..). That way, your body knows that it still needs it’s bones and will make sure they don’t go thinner!



  1. Very detailed thankyou