NASA to Honor Legacy of Famed “Hidden Figures” Mathematician Katherine Johnson

National Aeronautics and Space Administration - NASA - logo. Source: PRNewsFoto/NASA.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration - NASA - logo. Source: PRNewsFoto/NASA.

US Senator Mark Warner, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, and author Margot Lee-Shetterly are among the dignitaries honoring Katherine Johnson, former NASA employee and central character of the book and movie Hidden Figures, on September 22, 2017, 1pm, at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

They will join Hampton Mayor Donnie Tuck and Langley Center Director David Bowles in cutting the ribbon to officially open the center’s new Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility, a state-of-the-art lab for innovative research and development supporting NASA’s exploration missions.

The event will air live on NASA Television and the NASA TV website.

Johnson, 99, will attend and a pre-recorded message from her will be aired during the ceremony and a statement read.

Johnson was a “human computer” at Langley who calculated trajectories for America’s first spaceflights in the 1960s. The retired mathematician was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in 2015. Her contributions and those of other NASA African-American human computers are chronicled in the 2016 movie Hidden Figures, based on Lee-Shetterly’s book of the same name. She worked at Langley from 1953 until she retired in 1986.

For more about Johnson, visit www.nasa.gov/content/katherine-johnson-biography.

The Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility (CRF) is a $23-million, 37,000-square-foot, energy efficient structure that consolidates five Langley data centers and more than 30 server rooms. The facility will enhance NASA’s efforts in modeling and simulation, big data, and analysis. Much of the work now done by wind tunnels eventually will be performed by computers like those at the CRF.

For more information about Langley Research Center, visit www.nasa.gov/langley.

 

Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

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