Have you met Katherine Johnson?
Have You Met Katherine Johnson?
Katherine Johnson lived a long and groundbreaking life. She is an African-American mathematician whose intelligence in orbital mechanics helped shape the success of U.S manned flights into space.
Born on August 26, 1918, she is viewed as an inquisitive individual and having a natural ability to work with numbers. ohnson excelled in school and became the third African American to earn a PhD in mathematics. After her graduation, she began teaching in a black public school in Virginia.
In 1939, West Virginia’s State president picked Johnson and two male students to integrate their graduate programs. However, she left school after only one session to start her family, but her love for knowledge would lead her back soon enough.
In the summer of 1953, Johnson began her career with NACA [now known as NASA], working on several projects. Her work and analysis of flight trajectory made her famous in the space community and around the world.
In 1986, Johnson retired form NASA after 33 years. In 2015, she was awarded America’s highest civilian honor: the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.