Katherine Johnson helped launch America’s first orbit around Earth. She also “computed the path” that would eventually get Neil Armstrong to the moon.
In 1962’s Mercury-Atlas launch, astronaut John Glenn personally requested that she hand-crunch the machine’s calculations around the planet. She confirmed the math a day and a half later.
The 2016 film Hidden Figures pays tribute to Johnson’s seminal role in one of the most important NASA missions in America’s spaceflight history.