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NASA pioneer Katherine Johnson dies at 101

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 24, 2020 - Duration: 01:08s

NASA pioneer Katherine Johnson dies at 101

Katherine Johnson, the black NASA mathematician portrayed in the film "Hidden Figures" for her key role in sending humans to the moon, died on Monday (February 24) at the age of 101.

Tamara Lindstrom reports.

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NASA pioneer Katherine Johnson dies at 101

EDITORS' NOTE: THIS EDIT IS BEING RESENT TO CORRECT THE NAME OF THE ACTRESS WHO PORTRAYED JOHNSON IN "HIDDEN FIGURES." Katherine Johnson, a woman whose mathematical genius took her from a behind-the-scenes job in a segregated NASA to a key role in sending astronauts to the moon, died on Monday at the age of 101.

Little known to the public for decades, Johnson and her black colleagues at the fledgling NASA gained overdue recognition when the book "Hidden Figures" was published, and the 2016 Oscar-nominated movie hit the screens, with Johnson portrayed by actress Taraji P.

Henson.

Johnson had a groundbreaking career of 33 years with the space agency, working on the Mercury and Apollo missions, including the first moon landing in 1969.

John Glenn thought so highly of her that he insisted Johnson be consulted before his historic earth-orbiting flight in 1962.

In 2015, former President Barack Obama awarded Johnson a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Johnson said she was most proud of her contributions to the first moon mission, which included the calculations that synched the lunar lander craft and the orbiting command module.

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