On November 24th, 2015 Katherine Johnson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Katherine was given this award for her work as a mathematician helping pave the way to human space flight. Her work with NASA began at the Langley Research Center where she was hired on a team that was nicknamed “computers who wear skirts” where she helped with research to get astronauts into orbit around the earth for the first time and also send astronauts to the moon. Katherine was so good at her job that even John Glenn refused to launch on his mission around the world until Katherine double checked the mathematics that the computers at the time already calculated.
From the Challenger Learning Center in Sacramento we would like to say thank you to Katherine Johnson for helping NASA be a leader in human space flight.
To learn more about Katherine Johnson and her impact on human space flight visit the NASA website here: