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NASA Opens Research Facility Dedicated To Katherine Johnson, Hidden Figures Hero

The Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility, or CRF, was inaugurated on the September 22 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by family and friends of Katherine Johnson and students from Black Girls Code and the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program.

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In a pre-taped video ahead of the ceremony, Johnson was asked about how she felt about the 37,000 square foot facility “You want my honest answer? I think they’re crazy,” she said .“I was excited at something new, always liked something new, but give credit to everybody who helped. I didn’t do anything alone but try to go to the root of the question and succeeded there.”

Johnson loved numbers and grew up in West Virginia. Eventually, she got to work on those math skills and helped advance the nation’s space program in the 1960s where she calculated the missions trajectories. Johnson worked at NASA from 1953 until retiring in 1986.

Taraji P. Henson played the role of Katherine Johnson in the highly acclaimed movie Hidden Figures based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly. The book and movie featured African American female mathematicians who worked at NASA during the Space Race.

“I like the stars, and the stories we were telling, and it was a joy to contribute to the literature that was going to come out, but little did I think it would go this far.” – Katherine Johnson

 

Images: Fox 2000 Pictures, NASA / Source: NASA