NASA is renaming a facility after “Hidden Figures” scientist Katherine Johnson.
NASA’s Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) Facility will now be known as the Katherine Johnson Independent Verification and Validation Facility.
Johnson, a former NASA mathematician, helped calculate the path for the first American to enter space. She contributed on several Apollo missions as well, like mapping the moon’s surface for the successful 1969 landing, like mapping the moon’s surface for the successful 1969 landing, during her nearly 30-year career. In 2015, she was awarded the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
Johnson’s story was featured in the 2016 movie “Hidden Figures” about Black women mathematicians working as NASA scientists during ‘60s segregation. Actress Taraji P. Henson plays a young Johnson navigating her way in a while, male-dominated field. She was joined by Janelle Monáe, and Octavia Spencer, who play Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan.
The IV&V facility ensures the safety and success of some of the biggest NASA missions.
“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 stated. “It’s a fitting tribute to name the facility that carries on her legacy of mission—critical computations in her honor. It’s a way for us to recognize Katherine’s career and contributions not just during Black History Month, but every day, every year.”