NASA Renames Facility After ‘Hidden Figures’ Scientist Katherine Johnson
NASA announced plans to rename a facility after legendary mathematician Katherine Johnson paying tribute to her lasting impact on space exploration.
In a February 22 ceremony, Johnson, a West Virginia native, was presented with a building on the NASA complex in honor of her illustrious career.
The Katherine Johnson Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) Facility will serve as a building dedicated to safety programs. ABC News reports the facility houses NASA’s highest-profile missions “by assuring that mission software performs correctly.”
For 30 years, Johnson’s calculations were used for some of the most fundamental missions in the early days of NASA.
She calculated the trajectories for Alan Shepard’s Freedom 7 mission in 1961, John Glenn’s Friendship 7 mission in 1962 and multiple Apollo missions before the use of computers. She was deemed a “human computer” whose story became subject of the 2016 film Hidden Figures.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine showered her with praise for the 100-year-old’s achievements and bravery breaking down racial and gender barriers at early NASA.