Skip to comments.Katherine Johnson, 'hidden figure' at NASA during 1960s space race, dies at 101
Posted on 02/24/2020 8:45:32 AM PST by yesthatjallen
Pioneering NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, whose calculations played a major role in the development of the Space Shuttle program, died Monday at the age of 101, NASA confirmed.
Johnson was part of NASAs Computer Pool team in the 1960s, which was largely composed of black women who processed data by hand. They provided the calculations for several of the first successful manned space missions, including Alan Shepards in 1961 and John Glenns in 1962, when he became the first American to orbit the earth.
Johnson also became the first woman to write a technical report in NASAs flight research division with a 1960 paper, Determination of Azimuth Angle at Burnout for Placing a Satellite Over a Selected Earth Position, co-authored with Ted Skopinski. Johnson worked with NASA for nearly three decades before her retirement in 1986.
She was later portrayed by Taraji P. Henson in the 2016 film Hidden Figures and accompanied Henson to the 2017 Academy Awards.
Johnson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nations highest civilian honor, by President Obama in 2015 and received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2019.
We're saddened by the passing of celebrated #HiddenFigures mathematician Katherine Johnson. Today, we celebrate her 101 years of life and honor her legacy of excellence that broke down racial and social barriers, NASA tweeted.
(Excerpt) Read more at thehill.com ...
Saw “Hidden Figures”— awesome movie!
It was, thankfully, and surprisingly, NOT “political”!
I skipped that movie because I assumed it would be "political". Maybe I'll check it out now.
Wow, really? My wife wanted to see that but I turned her down, anticipating endless chauvinistic men being put in their place.
Also I believe the movie took some liberties with the actual contributions of the three ladies, as if they brought math to NASA like Prometheus brought fire to humanity.
But God bless Ms. Johnson and may she rest in peace.
Speaking of NASA and racism . . .
Retired at 67, then lived another 34 years. Good for her.
Yes the movie was political. Starting with the portrayal of the redneck sheriff pulling over the ladies and harassing them.
I also thought it was a stretch the one lady who studied the computer manuals at night figured out the problem the 200 IBM engineers in the movie could never do.
I skipped it also for a while. Caught it on TV about a month or so ago and enjoyed it.
While set in the late 50’s and early 60’s and probably had some drama added for effect it wasn’t “over the top” in any area.
One of those movies that tell a bit of our history that’s not all that well known.
So you DID see the movie! One of the most glaring was how the black women purportedly had to walk blocks to use a segregated woman's bathroom...
but she looks like she has a lot of white blood in her....but it doesn’t fit the scenario/narrative..
I don’t think of the movie as being political. It shows how things were for blacks and getting stopped and being harassed. Like it or not, that is a part of our history.
It is a good movie and brought to light that there were female mathetician’s that worked at NASA. I didn’t know that before I watched the movie.
The movie Men of Honor with Cuba Gooding was about the first black Navy diver and he survived so many obstacles to get there and stay there.
The movie was a myth-making movie, i.e., it was a total and complete lie.
I leave it as an exercise for you to _do_ _your_ _homework_ on this topic.
Did you live or visit the "Deep South" in that time period? That was a fairly accurate representation of life down there at that time.
I had a chance with my family in 1968 to drive from Boston to Biloxi, MS to bring my brother his car while he was in the service. I saw the "Coloreds Only" bathrooms, drinking fountains and all sorts of other marks of segregation, and that was while we were still in North Carolina! I won't comment on Alabama or Mississippi, which made N.C. seem enlightened!
“Hidden Figures” was a great movie because of the subject matter and, more to the point, the people who performed such incredible feats for their country. This is especially true given how their country treated them and their people up to that time. That the movie was a quality operation is just a bonus.
I am sad to see Mrs. Johnson gone, but it will happen to all of us sooner or later - we need to celebrate life, and what we or others have done with that gift. I am very happy that she was able to see what she and her compatriots did come to life on the big screen, and to thus have millions become aware of it. I’m a history buff, and I grew up watching the Apollo rockets go to the Moon, but I never knew a thing about the “hidden figures” until the movie came out.
Condolences to her family and friends on their loss.
Yup. She worked in Virginia, which was a Southern state before the recent Leftist coup d’etat.
RIP Mrs. Johnson and thank you for your contribution to our space program under insurmountable odds.
From History vs. Hollywood:
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