BREAKING NEWS: NASA’s Katherine Johnson Dies at 101

Katherine Johnson of ‘Hidden Figures’ Dies at 101


Courtesy of NY Times.

Ryleigh Whittaker, Staff Writer

On Monday, February 24, Katherine Johnson died at the age of 101. Johnson was one of many women who made historyin the U.S. She worked at NASA in a time that wasn’t inclusive to women or colored people. But, she was determined to change that and over the 35 years she worked for NASA, she did.

Johnson and two other women, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, were portrayed in a book and 2016 movie ‘Hidden Figures.’ Which was about their lives and how they navigated through a non inclusive time at NASA.          

According to NBC News, NASA Administrator, Jim Bridestine said, “Johnson helped our nation enlarge the frontiers of space even as she made huge strides that also opened doors for women and people of color in the universal human quest to explore space.” In a tweet, Bridestine also called Johnson an American hero.

Johnson was the first woman to receive credit for her work in the Flight Research Division. She made flight calculations on the Freedom 7, the Friendship 7, and the Apollo era.

According to Space, Bridestine also said, “At NASA, we will never forget her courage, leadership and the milestones we could not have reached without her. We will continue building on her legacy.”

After Johnson retired she became a public advocate for mathematics education in which she would travel to schools and speak.

According to CNN, ”In 2015, President Barack Obama honored Johnson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her pivotal work in American space travel. But before all of that, Johnson’s work went largely unrecognized. Around the office in the 1960s, she and her colleagues were called “computers in skirts,” and worked in a segregated facility.”

Johnson broke barriers for women and colored people. She will continue to be honored by NASA and many others.