Space station pays tribute to ‘Hidden Figures’ math Katherine Johnson

The Northrop Grumman space station supply ship, named SS Katherine Johnson after the late mathematician whose work inspired the movie “Hidden Figures,” was put into orbit on Saturday.

Saturday marked the 59th anniversary of the historic John Glenn launch, in which Johnson provided calculations as part of NASA’s computer group. Johnson, along with other black women, worked at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, processing data that played an important role in multiple historic manned space missions, The Associated Press reported.

“Ms. Johnson was selected for her handwritten calculations that helped launch the first Americans into space, as well as for her accomplishments in breaking one glass ceiling after another as a black woman,” said Northrop Grumman Vice President Frank DeMauro , according to the AP.

DeMauro also suggested that launch viewers watch the movie “Hidden Figures” to learn more about Johnson’s contributions after Saturday’s launch.

Johnson died in February of last year at the age of 101.

The four-ton capsule, which Northrop Grumman launched for NASA, will deliver food to the astronauts, as well as nearly 120,000 intestinal worms for a muscle experiment and computer equipment for data processing, AP reported.

Saturday’s launch marked the 15th station supply run Northrop Grumman has conducted for NASA.


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