Happy 100th birthday Ms. Katherine Johnson

29 August 2018

Nasa has joined the 100th birthday celebrations for Katherine Johnson, an African-American “human computer” who overcame racial and gender discrimination, to become a crucial part of the US’s space program.

Buon compleanno Mrs Johnson! Ha compiuto 100 anni lo scorso 26 agosto una delle figure più importanti della matematica e delle scienze aerospaziali americane e del mondo: Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson, la donna che ha calcolato le traiettorie dei primi viaggi dell’uomo nello spazio. Nera, figlia di un boscaiolo e di una insegnante, classe 1918, nata nella piccola città di White Sulphur Springs nello Stato americano del West Virginia, è stata una delle prime allieve di colore ammesse alla scuola locale dove si è diplomata a soli 14 anni.

 

K. Johnson Happy 100th birthday Ms. Katherine Johnson
K. Johnson

 

She calculated trajectories for the Apollo space mission by hand !!!!!!

Ms Johnson, who was born in 1918 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, was the youngster of four children and showed a talent for mathematics and calculations at an early age. Because public education for black children was not available behind the 8th grade, her parents arranged for her to attend high school on the campus of what is now West Virginia State University.

 

Katherine Johnson Happy 100th birthday Ms. Katherine Johnson
Katherine Johnson

 

After graduating high school at the age of 14, she entered the historically black college where she studied maths and science. Among her tutors was the pioneering mathematician Angie Turner King. Ms Johnson was eventually joined the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics, which would became Nasa.

NASA 300x137 Happy 100th birthday Ms. Katherine Johnson
NASA

 

The contribution of Ms Johnson and two of her black colleagues, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan, who worked at Nasa’s Langley Research Centre located in Hampton, Virginia, was featured in the 2016 movie Hidden Figures, directed by Theodore Melfi. In the movie, Ms Johnson was portrayed by actress Taraji Henson.

Best wishes from Romano Pisciotti, ITALMOTOR Ltd.

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