Glowing tributes to Katherine Johnson- A NASA mathematician who launched men to the moon

Katherine Johnson broke barriers for women of colour at NASA and beyond.

Kathrine Johnson, Photo/Courtesy

In Brief

Glowing tributes by renowned politicians, scientists, celebrities and business moguls to Katherine Johnson.

– Katherine Johnson, a pioneering black mathematician who helped NASA launch men to the moon.

As the world mourns the loss of a Katherine Johnson, a pioneering black mathematician who helped NASA launch men to the moon, world-renowned leaders, scientists and celebrities are paying tribute to the fallen heroine.

Johnson was hired as a “human computer” at NASA’s predecessor agency, NACA, in 1953. By hand, she calculated rocket trajectories for NASA’s early missions and checked the math for the launches that sent the first American into orbit and put the first men on the moon.

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As a black woman in a segregated government agency that was primarily staffed by white men, Johnson faced severe discrimination. Her contributions to history and space exploration went largely overlooked until the 2017 movie “Hidden Figures” highlighted her pioneering work. Johnson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the US’ highest civilian honour, by President Obama in 2015.

Some of the leaders, scientists and celebrities who paid their tribute to the great mathematician included; Hillary Clinton, Astronaut Scott Kelly, Scientist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Apple CEO Tim Cook among others.

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This is what they said and referred to Katherine as in their tributes.

Scientist Neil DeGrasse Tyson: “May the number of those inspired by her story be computationally incalculable”.

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New Jersey Senator Cory Booker: Johnson broke barriers for “women of colour at NASA and beyond.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook called Johnson a “trailblazer.”

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shared NASA’s post about Johnson, adding that she was an “American hero.”

“Her pioneering legacy will never be forgotten,” NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said.

Katherine Johnson died at the age of 101 and her legacy will never be forgotten.