Katherine Johnson, dies at 101

Katherine Johnson, one of the trailblazing NASA mathematicians portrayed in the film "Hidden Figures" has died at the age of 101. She was played by Taraji P. Henson in the 2016 film "Hidden Figures" that shed light on the black women whose efforts at NASA helped the United States in the worldwide space race. Johnson began working at the Langley Laboratory in Virginia in 1953. Among her many accomplishments at NASA, she was the first woman in the Flight Research Division to receive credit as an author of research report for her work detailing the equations describing an orbital spaceflight and helped calculate trajectories that took Apollo astronauts to the moon.

Johnson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor, by President Barack Obama in 2015. Johnson was honored at Hampton University and served as the University's 147th Commencement speaker in 2017. Katherine opened doors for not just women and people of color in the STEM field, but also helped this country in accomplishing and expanding our frontier in space while changing history completely. Her legacy will continue to go down in history as an American hero and pioneer.

-Kayla Smith
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