Katherine Johnson in 2008
August 26, 1918
White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, US
|Alma mater||West Virginia State University,
West Virginia University
|Known for||Calculating the trajectories for many NASA missions|
Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson (born August 26, 1918) is an African American physicist and mathematician. She finished schooling at a very early age. She is known to the United States' aeronautics and space programs with the early application of digital electronic computers at NASA.
She is also known for accuracy in computerized celestial navigation. She made it possible for many space flights such as Project Mercury, including the early NASA missions of John Glenn and Alan Shepard, and the 1969 Apollo 11 flight to the Moon, through the Space Shuttle program to happen. Her calculations were critical to the success of these missions. Johnson also did calculations for plans for a mission to Mars. Katherine Goble Johnson wrote 26 research reports. In 2015, Johnson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She was included in the BBC series 100 Women the next year.