NASA pays tribute to the life and legacy of a true STEM icon, Katherine Johnson whose contribution was invaluable to the successful launch of the first US space flight.
“Tonight, count the stars and remember a trailblazer.
We’re saddened by the passing of celebrated mathematician Katherine Johnson. Her spirit and determination helped lead us into a new era in space exploration, and for that we are grateful.
Once a “human computer”, she famously calculated the flight trajectory for Alan Shepard, the first American in space. And when we began to use electronic computers for calculations, astronaut John Glenn said that he’d trust the computers only after Johnson personally checked the math.
Her calculations proved as critical to the success of the Apollo Moon landing program and the start of the Space Shuttle program, as they did to those first steps on the country’s journey into space.
We celebrate her 101 years of life and honor her legacy of excellence that broke down racial and social barriers.”
What does Katherine Johnson’s legacy mean to you? Share in the comments. #KatherineJohnson #HiddenFigures