The once Hidden Figure Katherine Johnson will never be hidden from the world again.NASA has changed the name of a facility in Fairmount West Virginia to the “Katherine Johnson Independent Verification and Validation Facility” to honor the trailblazing NASA Mathematician Kathrine Johnson. According to USA Today, The Katherine Johnson Independent Verification and Validation Facility in Fairmont, West Virginia – her native state – houses programs that help safeguard NASA’s highest-profile missions by making sure software operates properly, according to the agency’s website.
The building was renamed over the weekend at the urging of a congressional bill signed into law by President Donald Trump in December.
“I am thrilled we are honoring Katherine Johnson in this way as she is a true American icon who overcame incredible obstacles and inspired so many,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said. “It’s a fitting tribute to name the facility that carries on her legacy of mission-critical computations in her honor.”
Katherine Johnson who turned 100 years old last August is an African American mathematician whose calculations of orbital mechanics at NASA which contributed the success of the first and the subsequent U.S. manned spaceflights. During her 35-year career at NASA, she earned a reputation for mastering complex manual calculations and helped the space agency pioneer the use of computers to perform the tasks.
Johnson’s work included calculating trajectories, launch windows and emergency return paths for Project Mercury spaceflights, John Glenn, the first American in orbit, and rendezvous paths for the Apollo lunar lander and command module on flights to the Moon. Her calculations were also essential to the beginning of the Space Shuttle History. In 2015, President Barack Obama awarded Johnson the Presidental Medal Of Freedom She was portrayed by Taraji P. Henson in the film adaption of Hidden Figures.