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“[The other women] didn’t ask questions or take the task any further. I asked questions; I wanted to know why. They got used to me asking questions and being the only woman there.”

Katherine Johnson is a physicist, space scientist, and NASA mathematician who won the NASA Lunar Orbiter Award and the NASA Special Achievement Award. She has been involved in NASA’s Mercury missions, shuttles, and plans for the Mars mission. She graduated college at age 18 and started teaching high school, but moved up when NASA opened more opportunities for African American women to be “human computers.” She was at first not allowed to attend meetings, but she demanded to be included and prevailed. Johnson did many of the calculations for the path of the first manned mission to the moon. Johnson is still alive today, and can see her story finally being told in the book and the film Hidden Figures!

For more information, read and/or watch Hidden Figures and read Women in Science.

Source: Rachel Ignotofsky, Women in Science

 

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