#TSRPositiveImages: Let’s give it up for real-life #HiddenFigures hero #KatherineJohnson, who is giving us some much-needed #BlackGirlMagic as #BlackHistoryMonth comes to an end.
For so long, her heroics and contributions within #NASA were kept a secret from the outside world and now her name and legacy will stay front and center at a NASA facility that embodies her work, @CNN reports.
NASA said The Independent Verification and Validation Center has been renamed the Katherine Johnson Independent Verification and Validation Facility.
“The facility’s program contributes to the safety and success of NASA’s highest-profile missions by assuring that mission software performs correctly,” said NASA officials.
Johnson is responsible for hand-calculating the trajectory for the nation’s first manned trip to space at a time when computers were not widely used and trusted. NASA’s “Computer Pool” relied heavily on the extraordinarily complex, hand-written calculations of its black female employees, including Johnson.
Any little error could have been disastrous but Johnson and the Computer Pool made calculations for “groundbreaking, successful space missions,” including the first American voyage into space and John Glenn’s 1962 mission, which made him the first American to orbit Earth.
Johnson was thankfully recognized for her work in 2016, when the best-selling novel and movie “Hidden Figures” shined a light on their work and the challenges black women faced at NASA, including racial segregation.
One of the most memorable scenes in the film was when Glenn was nervous about preparing for his flight and trusted Katherine with his life. Skeptical of computer machine calculations, Glenn requested that Johnson — whose brilliance was known within NASA — independently confirm the calculations by hand before he felt comfortable enough to start his trip three times around the Earth.
NASA naming a facility after Johnson is definitely warranted for all she’s done for the organization and this country. We applaud her lifelong achievements and thank her for inspiring Black girls everywhere!