Inspirational Women, MOcha Gems

No Longer Hidden

 Today’s Phenomenal Women:

Katherine Johnson August 26, 1918

Dorothy Vaughan (September 20, 1910 – November 10, 2008)

Mary Jackson (April 9, 1921 – February 11, 2005)

The Real “Hidden Figures”

These women played a big role in history, but their story has been “hidden” until recently with the debut of the movie Hidden Figures. Hidden Figures, based off the book with the same name by author Margot Lee Shetterly, tells the story of these three women who played a crucial part in NASA- America’s Space Program and helped successfully orchestrate some of America’s first successful space missions.

Katherine Johnson

Katherine Johnson- mathematician

  • Graduated high school at 14 years old, College at 18 years old
  • Hired by NACA (now NASA) in 1953- job title “computer”; job function-measure and calculate wind test tunnel results
  • Eventually integrated the meetings designed specifically for male engineers and helped calculate the flight plan to space which eventually led to successful mission to the moon
Dorothy Vaughan

Dorothy Vaughan- respected mathematician

  • NACA’S (now NASA) first black supervisor
  • Her role gave her the ability to see all that was going on throughout the entire laboratory.  This let her collaborate with other “white computers” (female mathematician) on various projects i.e. handbook for algebraic methods for calculating machines
Mary Jackson at Work NASA Langley

Mary Jackson- female engineer

  • Possibly the only black female aeronautical engineer in the 1950s
  • Started as a mathematician working under the supervision of Dorothy Vaughan. After a couple years, she got to work with a male engineer who eventually suggested she enter a training program. This program allowed her to be promoted from mathematician to engineer
  • In 1958 she became NASA’s first female black engineer



A Penny for Your Thoughts (well not really...LOL)

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