Washington. Picture: AFP
Katherine Johnson, a ground-breaking black NASA mathematician whose life was portrayed in the movie "Hidden Figures," died on Monday aged 101, the space agency said, as cited by AFP
. Johnson's calculations helped put the first man on the Moon in 1969, but she was little known until the Oscar-nominated 2016 movie that told the stories of three black women who worked at NASA. "She was an American hero and her pioneering legacy will never be forgotten," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said, honoring "her courage and the milestones we could not have reached without her."
Johnson and a colleague were the first to calculate the parameters of the suborbital 1961 flight of astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American in space. Her math talents later helped determine the trajectory of the Apollo 11 flight that landed Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the Moon in July 1969.
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