“They were going to the moon. I computed the path that would get you there. You determined where you were on Earth when you started out, and where the moon would be at a given time. We told them how fast they would be going, and the moon will be there by the time you got there.”—Katherine Johnson
We’re highlighting a couple of important TechMAKERS this week for Women’s History Month. These women have made incredible strides in STEM, despite the challenges they faced entering professional and academic fields that are overwhelmingly male-dominated.
It was only recently, with the release of Hidden Figures, that Katherine Johnson received the public recognition she deserved. There was not much visibility granted to a woman of color working at NASA in the 1960s.
Katherine made innumerable contributions to our space program, but the most important was being part of the team that put an American on the moon. She calculated the trajectory analysis for the mission because the computer they used was known to be faulty. We repeat: Katherine Johnson’s calculations were more trusted than that of NASA’s computers.