The American mathematician Katherine Johnson, whose calculations contributed to the very first lunar landing, has passed away at the age of 101.
Johnson’s contribution to getting Apollo 11 to land on the moon in 1969 was long unknown, but her work was highlighted in the Oscar-nominated film “Hidden Figures”, from 2017.
“She was an American hero and her legacy as a pioneer will never be forgotten,” says NASA chief executive Jim Bridenstine.
In 2015, Katherine Johnson was awarded the President’s Medal of Freedom, the United States’ top civilian award, by then-President Barack Obama.
Katherine G. Johnson: A NASA Trailblazer
NASA mathematician, a pioneer in the pursuit of racial equality, contributing to our nation’s first victory in human spaceflight and champion of STEM education, Katherine G. Johnson is among NASA’s most inspirational figures. Born August 26, 1918, in White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia, Johnson graduated from West Virginia State College with the highest award in 1937.
After attending graduate school and working as a public school teacher, she was employed in 1953 by what is now called NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, but was then called the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory. She retired from the center in 1986. Johnson’s performance at Langley was featured in the best-selling book “Hidden Figures” and the hit film of the same name.
Originally posted 2020-03-03 11:28:36.