(Steven Seipel / NASA)
For as long as physicist K. Renee Horton can remember, she has wanted to be a scientist. Horton is the Lead Metallic and Weld Engineer for the Space Launch System (SLS) at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, LA. Designed to enable deep-space exploration, the SLS will be the largest, most powerful rocket ever built. “My job is to make sure that the welds and anything metal on the [SLS] rocket are good after we’ve built and put it together,” she says. “I am the person who oversees the requirements that deal with metals and welds.” As a black woman in STEM and one of the self-described “SLS boots on the ground,” Horton and her work at NASA — though unlikely to make headlines directly — will be instrumental in sending the first human beings to Mars. Factor in that she’s also a bald, hard-of-hearing, former college dropout and mother of three, and Horton breaks every fusty mold of the white male scientist stereotype. Reach for the stars Renee!
It’s been hard to miss the incredible community of young people across the globe protesting their government’s lack of action on climate change. Each and every person who took part is an inspiration in their own right but they are all following one super girl’s lead. Greta Thunberg, the founder of the Youth Strike for Climate movement, has been nominated for the Nobel peace prize, a prestigious award that no one can deny the importance of. Thunberg began a solo protest in Sweden in August but has since inspired students around the globe “We have proposed Greta Thunberg because if we do nothing to halt climate change it will be the cause of wars, conflict and refugees,” said Norwegian Socialist MP Freddy André Øvstegård. “Greta Thunberg has launched a mass movement which I see as a major contribution to peace.” “[I am] honoured and very grateful for this nomination,” said Thunberg on Twitter. Tomorrow we #schoolstrike for our future. And we will continue to do so for as long as it takes.” She has already challenged leaders in person at the UN climate summit in late 2018 and at Davos in January. “Change is coming whether they like it or not,” she said. We all say ‘be the change you want to see in the world’, but few of us make as huge an impact as Greta.
Kane Tanaka from Fukuoka, Japan, has been officially confirmed as the oldest person living at 116 years 66 days old as of 9 March 2019. Kane was born prematurely on 2 January 1903, the same year the Wright brothers became the first to achieve powered flight! We can be sure that during her life she has seen a lot more than we could ever imagine. Despite having several operations - including one for cataracts and another for colorectal cancer - Kane now lives a peaceful life at a rest home in Fukuoka. She normally wakes up at 6 a.m., and in the afternoon often studies subjects such as maths. One of Kane's favourite pastimes is a game of Othello and she's become an expert at the classic board game, often beating rest-home staff. During the presentation ceremony, Kane was given a box of chocolates which she immediately opened and started eating. Later she was asked how many chocolates she wants to eat today, and replied: "100." A relatable woman if we ever saw one. 116-year-old Kane is six years shy of the record for oldest person ever, which has been held by Jeanne Louise Calment (France) for the past 22 years. May Kane live even longer and always remain in good health and surrounded by the sweet treats she loves!
Have a positive week,
Love Neon Moon x
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