Katherine Johnson, 1918-2020
Katherine Johnson was a phenomenal mathematician at NASA for over three decades. At an early age, Katherine was highly skilled with numbers. She graduated college at 18 years old. In the 1950s Katherine was one of the few black women mathematicians that helped send astronauts to the moon. During her time at NASA Katherine faced racism and sexism while making significant contributions to the space race. Katherine paved the way for women of color pursuing STEM.
She co-authored one of the first textbooks on space.
In 2016 Katherine received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
She calculated the trajectory needed for the Apollo 11 mission.