J. K. Rowling

To say that I’m disappointed in J. K. Rowling for her anti-trans sentiments is an understatement. They say you should never meet your heroes; well, you should also never follow them on social media, either. Some of the things she’s said and done over the past year have truly curdled my blood and angered my soul and proved to be a true source of pain in my heart.

All that said, I refuse to believe that Harry Potter was laced with racism and antisemitism. It was the penultimate story of being who you are and embracing your truth and living your most authentic life. The fact that it was such a beautiful story of courage and hope is what made Rowling’s anti-trans sentiments so prophetically disappointing and painful but only in that those sentiments came from the same individual who gave us Luna Lovegood, Neville Longbottom, Harry Potter, Ron Weaseley, Hermione Grainger and told a story of a boy who realized he could be so much more than what he was told he could be. There was nothing in Harry Potter (at least that I remember) that I would construe as anti-trans and if there were to be some hidden prejudice in the story, I would expect that to be it. So to turn a magical creature into a horrible representation of an entire community is just too far. I can’t believe it and I don’t.

Please don’t mistake my sentiments: I’m not defending J. K. Rowling. She’s proven herself to be a true deatheater. But as nasty as she is, I just don’t believe that she built that nastiness into the Harry Potter series. Stories are driven by conflict, by good and evil, by characters that represent pieces of the whole. In this case, those characters were fantasies, dreamed up and created in the mind of a talented, albeit misguided, human being. The story was magnificent, a true magnum opus, but it was complicated to say the absolute least. And I just don’t see her sitting behind a desk with a white board and a marker making correlations between real life groups of people and the fantasy characters she created saying, “ooh, this looks like a nice vile creature, I’ll have them represent _________ (fill in the blank).” That just all seems too flagrant, even for her.

So I have to maintain that Harry Potter was just what it was: a story of a boy who discovered that the power of survival and hope and light was within him and whose bravery and courage are beacons to guide us in the night. I grew up with him; I hurt with him, I cried with him, I cheered with him, I fought with him and yes, when the time came, I even died a little with him. I can’t and won’t believe that everything those stories made me feel was tainted with the poison of racism and antisemitism. Because if it turns out to be true, what does that make me?

NASA’s Space Launch System Rocket’s “Green Run” Engine Testing By The Numbers

We continue to make progress toward the first laucnh of our Space Launch System (SLS) rocket for the Artmeis I mission around the moond. Engineers at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi are preparing for the last two tests of the eight-part SLS core stage Green Run test series.

The test campaign is one of the final milestones before our SLS rocket launches America’s Orion spacecraft to the Moon with the Artemis program. The SLS Green Run test campaign is a series of eight different tests designed to bring the entire rocket stage to life for the first time.

As our engineers and technicians prepare for the wet dress rehearsal and the SLS Green Run hot fire, here are some numbers to keep in mind:

212 Feet

The SLS rocket’s core stage is the largest rocket stage NASA has ever produced. From top to bottom of its four RS-25 engines, the rocket stage measures 212 feet.
35 Stories

For each of the Green Run tests, the SLS core state is installed in the historic B-2 Test Stand at Stennis. The test stand was updated to accommodate the SLS rocket stage and is 35 stories tall – or almost 350 feet!
4 RS-25 Engines

All four RS-25 engines will operate simultaneously during the Green Run Hot Fire. Fueled by the two propellant tanks, the cluster of engines will gimbal, or pivot, and fire for up to eight minutes just as if it were an actual Artemis launch to the moon.
18 Miles

The brawny SLS core stage is outfitted with three flight computers and special avionics systems that act as the brains of the rocket. It has 18 miles of cabling and more that 500 sensors and ssystems to help feed fuel and direct the four RS-25 engines.
773,000 Gallons

The stage has two huge propellant tanks that collectively hold 733,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. The stage weighs more that 2.3 million pounds when it’s fully fueled.
114 Tanker Trucks

It’ll take 114 trucks – 54 trucks carrying liquid hydrogen and 60 trucks carrying liquid oxygen – to provide fuel to the SLS core stage.
6 Propellant Barges

A series of barges will deliver the propellant from the trucks to the rocket stage installed in the test stand. Altogether, six propellant barges will send fuel through a special feed system and lines. The propellant initially will be used to chill the feed systema nd lines to the correct cryogenic temperature. the propellant then will flow from the barges to the B-2 Test Stand and on into the stage’s tanks.
100 Terabytes

All eight of the Green Run tests and check outs will produce more than 100 terabytes of collected data that engineers will use to certify the core stage design and help verify the stage is ready for launch.

For comparison, just one terabyte is the equivalent to 500 hours of movies, 200,000 five-minute songs, or 310,000 pictures!
32,500 Holes

The B-2 Test Stand has a flame deflector that will direct the fire produced from the rocket’s engines away from the stage. Nearly 33,000 tiny, handmade holes dot the flame deflector. Why? All those minuscule holes play a huge role by directing constant streams of pressurized water to cool the hot engine exhaust.
One Epic First

When NASA conducts the SLS Green Run Hot Fire test at Stennis, it’ll be the first time that the SLS core stage operates just as it would on the launch pad. This test is just a preview of what’s to come for Artemis I!

The Space Launch System is the only rocket that can send NASA astronauts aboard NASA’s Orion spacecraft and supplies to the Moon in a single mission. The SLS core stage is a key part of the rocket that will send the first woman and the next man to the Moon through NASA’s Artemis program.