Katherine Johnson, a NASA mathematician whose trailblazing contributions to the space agency during the Space Race got the silver screen treatment in the film Hidden Figures, has died, NASA announced Monday. She was 101.
Happy birthday Katherine Johnson!
The renowned NASA mathematician is celebrating her 101st birthday.Johnson is known for calculating the orbital equations for the trajectories of the Friendship 7 missions in 1961 and 1962, according to NASA.
Sue Finley began work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as the US prepared to launch its first satellite into orbit in 1958, racing to match the Soviet Union, which had accomplished the feat months earlier.
Now 82, she is one of NASA’s longest-serving women, starting out as one of its “human computers,” whose critical yet long-hidden contributions to the space program, including the Apollo missions to the Moon, are finally being recognized.