Katherine Johnson, the mathematician of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), died early Monday morning at the age of 101. According to NASA, she helped the agency to launch the first American to orbit the Earth successfully. The key roles of Katherine and other African-American women at NASA praised in the film “Hidden Figures” that released in 2016.
Jim Bridenstine, the administrator of NASA, stated that the legendary mathematician helped the U.S. nation to broaden the boundaries of space even as she made huge steps that also paved ways for women as well as people of color. Her skill as a mathematician and her dedication towards work helped land humans on the moon’s surface. Before that, her efforts made it possible for the astronauts of the United States to take the initial steps in space; because of all this, the space agency now follows on a journey to Mars, Bridenstine added.
In 1953, NASA hired Katherine Johnson and planned the journey for Alan Shepard, the first U.S. scientist in space, before the use of electronic computers. Before going to the mission to orbit the Earth, John Glenn personally requested Johnson to recheck and finalized the calculations herself that electronic computers made. At that time, Johnson told that Glenn said that if she approved them good, then he would ready to go.
“We will always have STEM with us. Some things will drop out of the public eye and will go away, but there will always be science, engineering and technology. And there will always, always be mathematics.”
Katherine Johnson, 1918-2020 pic.twitter.com/Vkp0MgfwtH
— NASA STEM Engagement (@NASASTEM) February 24, 2020
Presidential Medal of Freedom
In 2015, then President of the United States, Barack Obama, presented Katherine Johnson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. At that moment, Obama said that in a thirty-three years career of Johnson at NASA, she broke all the barriers of gender and race, showed a young generation that anyone could outshine in science & math and reach for the stars. In a statement, Bridenstine says that NASA will never forget her leadership, courage as well as the milestones it couldn’t reach without her.
Today, we mourn the loss of a true-life hero. Katherine Johnson was an inspiration to generations of people, as she worked to break down both racial and gender barriers. We honor her legacy. #KatherineJohnson pic.twitter.com/msAMrSRrsF
— NAACP (@NAACP) February 24, 2020
Furthermore, Taraji P. Henson, the actress of Hollywood who played the role of Johnson in Hidden Figures, praise her on his official Instagram account by saying, Thank you, Queen, for sharing your grace, beauty, poise, and intelligence with the whole world! Due to your hard work, young girls everywhere can dream their future as big as the Moon. She also admired her legacy and said it would live forever.
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Thank you QUEEN #KatherineJohnson for sharing your intelligence, poise, grace and beauty with the world! Because of your hard work little girls EVERYWHERE can dream as big as the MOON!!! Your legacy will live on FORVER AND EVER!!! You ran so we could fly!!! I will forever be honored to have been apart of bringing your story to life. You/your story was hidden and thank GOD you are #hiddennomore🚀 God bless your beautiful family. I am so honored to have sat and broke bread with you all. My thoughts and prayers are with you! #RIHKatherineJohnson #representationmatters 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾💋💋💋