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NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson Dies At Age 101

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posted on Feb, 24 2020 @ 12:36 PM
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Kathrine Johnson, the woman who is the inspiration for the Hidden Figures movie has died at the age of 101. She is responsible for the mathematical calculations which provided the trajectory analysis to send Alan Shepard to space, the first American to do so, in 1961. She was also the first woman in the Flight Research Division to author a research report, having co-authored a report in 1960 on orbital spaceflight. She went on to author 26 research reports during her 33 years at Langley, according to NASA.



She became most well-known for her work on John Glenn’s 1962 orbital mission.



NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, whose calculations helped America’s first human spaceflight in 1961, has died at the age of 101, the space agency said Monday.

Johnson was among a team of female Black mathematicians working for NASA in the 1960s that inspired the movie “Hidden Figures.”

“At NASA we will never forget her courage and leadership and the milestones we could not have reached without her,” NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement. “We will continue building on her legacy and work tirelessly to increase opportunities for everyone who has something to contribute toward the ongoing work of raising the bar of human potential.”


Well, at least she lived a long and fruitful life, ATS. I know there are some Space enthusiasts here who know who she is and how important she is to NASA and Space exploration. Just want to give her a last shout out here on ATS and thank her for her contribution. What says ATS?
edit on 24-2-2020 by lostbook because: paragraph edit




posted on Feb, 24 2020 @ 12:44 PM
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Thank You, Ms. Johnson...for helping to bring us the stars.
Rest In Peace.

101 years of a long life, well-lived,



posted on Feb, 24 2020 @ 12:49 PM
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a reply to: lostbook

I must admit that I did not know her. I have read a lot about her now. She must have been a great strong personality who has achieved great things. 101 years, man, a whole century - what she must have seen and experienced! rip.



posted on Feb, 24 2020 @ 12:51 PM
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What a grand and fulfilling life she must have led. I can only imagine.



posted on Feb, 24 2020 @ 01:02 PM
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a reply to: lostbook

Massive respect for this woman who achieved the "impossible" under the most difficult of circumstances -- systemic and institutionalized racism AND sexism -- and she accomplished it with the utmost grace and dignity. Massive respect.

Rest in Peace, Mrs. Johnson



posted on Feb, 24 2020 @ 01:12 PM
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originally posted by: oloufo
a reply to: lostbook

I must admit that I did not know her. I have read a lot about her now. She must have been a great strong personality who has achieved great things. 101 years, man, a whole century - what she must have seen and experienced! rip.


I didn't know about her either until i saw the Hidden Figures movie. Bittersweet.



posted on Feb, 24 2020 @ 01:14 PM
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I just watched that movie for the first time the other night. Its currently available for free on Spectrum's On-Demand. Such a great movie. I had never heard of her or the group of woman that had helped with the calculations to make these early space missions safe and successful. To see her accomplish such feats all while enduring the racial segregation back then is quite remarkable. She is a top notch figure that deserves more recognition than she gets. Thanks for posting this.



posted on Feb, 24 2020 @ 01:18 PM
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originally posted by: Boadicea
a reply to: lostbook

Massive respect for this woman who achieved the "impossible" under the most difficult of circumstances -- systemic and institutionalized racism AND sexism -- and she accomplished it with the utmost grace and dignity. Massive respect.

Rest in Peace, Mrs. Johnson


Quoted for Truth.

She fought an uphill battle.. into space, no less.

RIP Kathrine and Godspeed.



edit on 24-2-2020 by Lumenari because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 24 2020 @ 01:29 PM
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The danger of movies. The racism in the movie didn't exist in her own words. The computers still did all the math. They were just there to verify the work. She also didn't work directly for NASA. Total fiction.



posted on Feb, 24 2020 @ 02:27 PM
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originally posted by: Stupidsecrets
The danger of movies. The racism in the movie didn't exist in her own words. The computers still did all the math. They were just there to verify the work. She also didn't work directly for NASA. Total fiction.


1967: NASA Lunar Orbiter Spacecraft and Operations Team award
1967: Apollo Group Achievement Award
1971: NASA Langley Research Center Special Achievement award (zu deutsch: Auszeichnung des NASA Langley Research Center für besondere Leistungen)
1980: NASA Langley Research Center Special Achievement award
1984: NASA Langley Research Center Special Achievement award
1985: NASA Langley Research Center Special Achievement award
1986: NASA Langley Research Center Special Achievement award
1998: Ehrendoktor der Rechtswissenschaft der SUNY Farmingdale
1999: Outstanding Alumnus of the Year (zu deutsch: Herausragende Alumna des Jahres) des West Virginia State College
2006: Ehrendoktor des Capitol College, Laurel (Maryland)
2010: Ehrendoktor der Old Dominion University, Norfolk (Virginia)
2015: Presidential Medal of Freedom
2019: Fellow des Computer History Museum



posted on Feb, 24 2020 @ 04:08 PM
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a reply to: oloufo

Couldn't have said it better. Thanks



posted on Feb, 24 2020 @ 07:13 PM
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originally posted by: Stupidsecrets
The danger of movies. The racism in the movie didn't exist in her own words. The computers still did all the math. They were just there to verify the work. She also didn't work directly for NASA. Total fiction.


Oh my dear!
Please don't explode with your chagrin. The lady/ies work was to analyse the data...on the subject matter, big difference.
Yes she did work for NASA, and previous to that NACA any guesses on that? and yes, they were segregated, while much of the time segegation was mostly ignored, because of the work they were doing.

Now, I'll ask a question, when do you think that segregation in the American air force ended? I know the answer is not quite what the American air force will tell you today, because of Trueman's 1948 EO..it didn't happen then, not for a long time.

I bear witness to performing in Spangdalhem, Germany, a top security base at the time, likely still is, in 1966, they also had American forces TV broadcasts from there at the time, and I can tell you that Black air force personnel were benched on one side of the aisle, and white personnel were benched on the other side, the guys used thrown paper darts at one another because it was a joke to them, however, their commanders seemed to be of a different ilk..that's the way it was.

Cudos to the OP for the thread...for the tribute, a big thumbs down for dumb ignorance.

BTW, for some, the lady's proper name is Katherine Johnson. R.I.P.
edit on 24-2-2020 by smurfy because: Text.



posted on Feb, 24 2020 @ 07:23 PM
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the movie "hidden Figures" was about her and a few others contributions to Nasa and space flight

Great movie... great lady

RIP



posted on Feb, 24 2020 @ 07:58 PM
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originally posted by: Stupidsecrets
The danger of movies. The racism in the movie didn't exist in her own words. The computers still did all the math. They were just there to verify the work. She also didn't work directly for NASA. Total fiction.


Is this how you honor her memory? Shameful



posted on Feb, 24 2020 @ 11:34 PM
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originally posted by: oloufo

originally posted by: Stupidsecrets
The danger of movies. The racism in the movie didn't exist in her own words. The computers still did all the math. They were just there to verify the work. She also didn't work directly for NASA. Total fiction.


1967: NASA Lunar Orbiter Spacecraft and Operations Team award
1967: Apollo Group Achievement Award
1971: NASA Langley Research Center Special Achievement award (zu deutsch: Auszeichnung des NASA Langley Research Center für besondere Leistungen)
1980: NASA Langley Research Center Special Achievement award
1984: NASA Langley Research Center Special Achievement award
1985: NASA Langley Research Center Special Achievement award
1986: NASA Langley Research Center Special Achievement award
1998: Ehrendoktor der Rechtswissenschaft der SUNY Farmingdale
1999: Outstanding Alumnus of the Year (zu deutsch: Herausragende Alumna des Jahres) des West Virginia State College
2006: Ehrendoktor des Capitol College, Laurel (Maryland)
2010: Ehrendoktor der Old Dominion University, Norfolk (Virginia)
2015: Presidential Medal of Freedom
2019: Fellow des Computer History Museum


NASA does give awards to those that work as vendors or outside contributors. Go read her bio. She was never hired directly by NASA. The racism stuff in the movie was also fiction from her own words. It never happened. She was nothing more than a checker for math done by a computer. I know this is difficult to accept as truth but go ahead. Live in your own movie world. It's not against the law.



posted on Feb, 25 2020 @ 08:55 AM
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a reply to: Stupidsecrets

NASA Disagrees with you. I will take their word over who worked for them rather than yours.. sorry.



Katherine Johnson Biography
Portrait of Katherine Johnson

Credits: NASA
Born: Aug. 26, 1918
Died: Feb. 24, 2020
Hometown: White Sulphur Springs, WV
Education: B.S., Mathematics and French, West Virginia State College, 1937
Hired by NACA: June 1953
Retired from NASA: 1986


She returned to teaching when her three daughters got older, but it wasn’t until 1952 that a relative told her about open positions at the all-black West Area Computing section at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics’ (NACA’s) Langley laboratory, headed by fellow West Virginian Dorothy Vaughan. Katherine and her husband decided to move the family to Newport News, Virginia, to pursue the opportunity, and Katherine began work at Langley in the summer of 1953. Just two weeks into her tenure in the office, Dorothy Vaughan assigned her to a project in the Maneuver Loads Branch of the Flight Research Division, and Katherine’s temporary position soon became permanent.


SOURCE
edit on 25-2-2020 by DoubleDNH because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 25 2020 @ 02:27 PM
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Katherine Johnson was real. She worked for NACA/NASA. She was a human computer. John Glenn asked her to recheck the electronic computer's calculations for his first Earth orbit.
There were segregation laws at the time.
All true.

The movie deviated heavily from the truth however to indulge in their orgasm of racism and sexism. The white characters in the movie were not real people. They were written in to represent the screenwriter's idea of bias and prejudice of the era; or sensationalism.

Katherine didn't feel segregation inside NASA. She felt like a member of the team. She wasn't mistaken as the janitor; there to empty garbage cans as the movie depicts. She didn't have to run across the campus to use the colored only bathrooms; in fact she used white bathrooms and refused to use the colored only and nobody cared. All of that and the fictional evil/racist white characters were unnecessary.

Rest in peace lady.



posted on Feb, 25 2020 @ 05:51 PM
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a reply to: primus2012

She looks Jewish. Why would she be expected to use "coloured" bathrooms?



posted on Feb, 25 2020 @ 06:08 PM
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I'd rather we commend her for the superhuman brain processing power she had that allowed her to comprehend and crunch such complex mathematics, than for her being a woman back then. That seems to REALLY dumb down the mathematical genius level she was at as a person. Not a woman, a PERSON. Not many PEOPLE back then were capable of that kind of high-level math. She deserves major props for being better by far at it than you or me, period.

I also commend her humility, she didn't use her race or gender for some soapbox crusade, she just was who she was & owned it. That's far more than we can say for people today.



posted on Feb, 25 2020 @ 08:20 PM
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a reply to: lostbook

I love these stories of women who were doing things at the highest levels, often years before they would have been doing so in the business world. When it comes to military, Intelligence, NASA, they wanted the best available minds, and nobody was going to tell them "that's a man's job", even long ago.

Granted, in some things, they may have, but in many cases, our bleeding edge has always been smart enough to use the best there was!



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