There has been talk recently of building a base on either the Moon or Mars. What I'm wondering is, if you are born and grow to adulthood on the Moon, where the gravity is a tenth of the Earth's, would you be taller than if you had been born and grown up on Earth?

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    $\begingroup$ This sounds like a question about biology rather than physics. $\endgroup$
    – BowlOfRed
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 9:17
  • $\begingroup$ apologies - by all means if this needs to be moved go ahead $\endgroup$
    – kafka
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 9:36
  • $\begingroup$ I doubt there will be significant conceptual differences, just severe disorders, low bone density, etc. The more physical question is, how would life evolve if earth's gravity was larger/smaller... I read somewhere, that the linear dimensions would scale inversely proportional to gravity, as the bone would be able to support more or less mass. Nice question anyhow. $\endgroup$
    – LLlAMnYP
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 9:43
  • $\begingroup$ the height of astronauts is affected by gravity space.com/19116-astronauts-taller-space-spines.html . $\endgroup$
    – anna v
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 11:00

1 Answer 1


As far as I am aware, no one has ever been born in space, so your answer cannot be answered directly. However, it is known that the absence of gravity results in an increase in body height by a few centimeters. This is due to stretching of the vertebral column, which is no longer being pressed together by the downward pull of gravity1. For example, the astronaut Richard Hieb, who spent 2 weeks in space, found that his height had increased by 1 inch (~2.5 centimeters)2. Loss of gravity also causes the blood and other fluids to migrate from the legs to the upper part of the body, resulting in swelling of the face and protrusion of the veins of the neck1. I assume that these effects reported at zero gravity at least partially apply to 10% gravity.

- Airbus Defence & Space


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