Katherine Johnson – a mathematician at NASA & # 39; s Langley Research Center in Virginia, who has helped human space travel – celebrated 100 trips around the sun this weekend.
Johnson, one of the & # 39; human computers & # 39; NASA, whose calculations have driven NASA spacecraft to the stars, turned 100 on August 26th. Johnson is a retired mathematician of NASA Langley who was an integral part of the development of the human space flight in America. Johnson, who was played by Taraji P. Henson in the feature film "Hidden Figures," began her career at NASA with a team of black women who also called "human computers". were mentioned. Like the other women in this group, Johnson broke barriers as an African-American woman despite anti-black bias.
NASA honored Johnson on her birthday and reminded the world of her unrivaled contributions to the human space flight. A number of women who did incredible work at NASA indicated how Johnson's work inspired them along the way. "She opened doors for the rest of us," said Julie Williams-Byrd, Langley's leading technician, in a statement by NASA Langley. [The Women Computers of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Slideshow)]
"You are as good as anyone in this city, but you are no better than any of them," says retired @NASA_Langley mathematician Katherine Johnson, who is celebrating her 100th birthday today. Discover other life lessons of this pioneer: https://t.co/FliCMfFYDt # Happy100Katherine pic.twitter.com/s0KIhj704W
– NASA (@NASA) August 26, 2018
An unstoppable force and a role model for young Afro-American women. Johnson started her career at NASA & # 39; s Langley Research Center in 1953 after one of her relatives told her about open positions in a completely black West Area Computing section at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics & # 39; (NACA & # 39; s ) Langley's laboratory. The lab was led by Dorothy Vaughan, who came from West Virginia, just like Johnson did.
Retired today @NASA_Langley mathematician Katherine Johnson makes her 100th trip around the sun while she is celebrating her birthday! Send her birthday wishes with the help of # Happy100Katherine & learn about her calculations that have been launched @NASA_Astronauts to space: https://t.co/Iv2DqAt1LK pic.twitter.com/DVvVYnrupe
– NASA (@NASA) August 26, 2018
Johnson analyzed flight test data and even completed a trajectory analysis for Freedom 7, America & # 39; s first human space flight. She was co-author of the paper Determination of the azimuth angle at Burn-out for placing a satellite above a selected ground position, which describes the equations describing a space transport in which the landing position of the vessel is specified. This was the first time a woman received author credit for a research report in the Flight Research Division.
The most famous work by Johnson, with the focus on Hidden Figures & # 39 ;, was for the orbital mission of John Glenn in 1962. The mission required a complicated worldwide communication network. The orbital calculations of the mission, which controlled the trajectory of the capsule for the mission, were programmed by a computer, but Glenn asked engineers to "get the girl" – referring to Katherine Johnson – to validate the calculations. She ran the same calculations that the computer had run, and Johnson said, "If she says they're good, then I'm ready to go."
Her legendary career at NASA lasted from 1953 to 1986.