Katherine Johnson’s maiden name was Coleman. Who is the longest reigning WWE Champion of all time? That changed in 1958 when NACA was incorporated into the newly formed National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which banned segregation. Asked by Wiki User. Katherine Johnson loved math. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Katherine-Johnson-mathematician, The HistoryMakers - Biography of Katherine G. Johnson, West Virginia University - Alumni Association - Katherine Johnson, Katherine Johnson - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Katherine Johnson - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up), National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race. This involved far more difficult calculations, to account for the gravitational pulls of celestial bodies, and by then NASA had begun using electronic computers. Creola Katherine Johnson (née Coleman; August 26, 1918 – February 24, 2020) was an American mathematician whose calculations of orbital mechanics as a NASA employee were critical to the success of the first and subsequent U.S. crewed spaceflights. Johnson authored or coauthored 26 research reports during her career. In the mid-1950s, NASA (then … Margot Lee Shetterly's 2016 book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Who Helped Win the Space Race celebrated the little-known story of Johnson and her fellow African American computers. Among them are the 1967 NASA Lunar Orbiter Spacecraft and Operations team award, and the I said, 'Let me do it. Early in her career, she was called a “computer.” She helped NASA put an astronaut into orbit around Earth. ", She said to Johnson: "Your work changed our history and your history has changed our future. Later she was a member of a group of NASA employees called "computers," made up of African American women who excelled in mathematics and problem-solving. Johnson was academically precocious, beginning high school at the age of 10. A year later, in September 2017, 99-year-old Johnson was honored by NASA, with the dedication of a new research building which is named after her — the Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility. While the work of electronic computers took on increased importance at NASA, Johnson remained highly valuable for her unwavering accuracy. In 1937, at age 18, Coleman graduated with highest honours from West Virginia State College (now West Virginia State University), earning bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and French. The women, known as the West Computers, analyzed test data and provided mathematical computations that were essential to the success of the early U.S. space program. Lyndon B. Johnson was elected vice president of the United States in 1960 and became the 36th president in 1963, following the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Johnson enrolled at West Virginia State College (now West Virginia State University) in Institute, West Virginia, where she encountered a hands-on faculty.

0 1 2. turned into an Oscar-nominated feature film, Hidden Figures (2016), starring actress Taraji P. Henson as Johnson.

Watch It Now. I think they’re crazy.”, Her trailblazing contributions were celebrated at the dedication ceremony where Margot Lee Shetterly, the author of Hidden Figures and keynote speaker, said of the "human computers": “We are living in a present that they willed into existence with their pencils, their slide rules, their mechanical calculating machines — and, of course, their brilliant minds.

And then she helped put a man on the Moon. She retired from NASA in 1986.

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Her work helped send astronauts to the Moon. Johnson passed away on February 24, 2020. It was also

In 1939, however, she was selected to be one of the first three African American students to enroll in a graduate program at West Virginia University. The following year, at the request of John Glenn, Johnson verified that the electronic computer had planned his flight correctly. You tell me when you want it and where you want it to land, and I'll do it backwards and tell you when to take off .' Although her town didn’t offer classes for African Americans after that point, her father, Joshua, drove the family 120 miles to Institute, West Virginia, where they lived while she attended high school. …other West Computers—including Vaughan and. At age 18, she graduated summa cum laude with degrees in mathematics and French.

I asked questions; I wanted to know why.". Marsha P. Johnson was an African American transgender woman and revolutionary LGBTQ rights activist. Her story is depicted in the 2016 movie 'Hidden Figures.'. Her work helped send astronauts to the Moon.

She performed calculations for the historic 1969 Apollo 11 trip to the moon, and the following year, when Apollo 13 experienced a malfunction in space, her contributions to contingency procedures helped ensure its safe return. Earvin "Magic" Johnson dominated the court as one of the world's best basketball players for more than a decade. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Yet, the job wasn't considered complete until Johnson was summoned to check the work of the machines, providing the go-ahead to propel John Glenn into successful orbit in 1962. “I counted everything. At NASA Johnson was a member of the Space Task Group. That year Margot Lee Shetterly published Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, about the West Computers, including Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson. She Jack Johnson, nicknamed "the Galveston Giant," was the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion. Get the latest updates on NASA missions, watch NASA TV live, and learn about our quest to reveal the unknown and benefit all humankind. What is Kathrine Johnson's IQ Level? Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Katherine Johnson after receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, 2015. Johnson continued to serve as a key asset for NASA, helping to develop its Space Shuttle program and Earth Resources Satellite, until her retirement in 1986. A Genius who NASA said “was a Computer When Computers Wore Skirts.” The physicist was very invaluable to NASA during the beginning of the Space Race.

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She achieved success despite difficulties at home: In 1956, her husband died of a brain tumor.

Copyright © 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. Glenn subsequently made history aboard Friendship 7, becoming the first U.S. astronaut to orbit Earth. In November 2015, President Barack Obama presented Johnson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The wife of U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, Lady Bird Johnson served as first lady from 1963 to 1969. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us! She passed away on February 24, 2020, at the age of 101. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. " As a result, the task of plotting the path for Alan Shepard's 1961 journey to space, the first in American history, fell on her shoulders. Lonnie G. Johnson is a former Air Force and NASA engineer who invented the massively popular Super Soaker water gun. The following year she remarried, to decorated Navy and Army officer James A. Johnson. 185. In 2016 NASA named a building, the Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility, after her. Johnson received numerous awards and honours for her work, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2015). Why don't libraries smell like bookstores?

Johnson was honored with an array of awards for her groundbreaking work. Andrew Johnson succeeded Abraham Lincoln as president and was the first president of the United States to be impeached. Dorothy Johnson Vaughan worked as a mathematician on the SCOUT Launch Vehicle Program that sent America’s first satellites into space.