Katherine Johnson, a pioneering mathematician who worked on NASA's early space missions, has died aged 101.
For decades, Catherine Johnson remained the unheralded hero who'd paved the way for her nation to reach the moon wielding little more than a pencil a ruler and one of the finest mathematical minds in America. It was she who calculated the flight path that put Neil Armstrong on the moon and made sure he reached safely higher. ...I liked work. I like the stars and stones... and it was a joy to contribute to the literature there was gonna become alive but little did I think here we go this far. But, Catherine Johnson's calculations also saved lives helping plot the safe return of the Apollo 13 crew after their mission was aborted and almost ended in disaster. Her talents not lost on present NASA scientists. She was considered a you know the flunky who did the stuff that the engineers didn't really want to do. Engineers really sort of ran the show. Well, she made it pretty clear that what she did was really important and the engineers came to appreciate her her incredible talents. In 2015, President Obama awarded her America's highest civilian honor the Presidential Medal of Freedo. Growing up in West Virginia Catherine Johnson counted everything. She counted steps. She counted dishes. She counted the distance to the church. But it took this Hollywood film to thrust the uncelebrated pioneer into the international spotlight in 2016. This is about inventing the math because without her we're not going anyway. Yes, sir! Until then, she and other black women who worked for NASA in the 1960s were mostly unknown but their work was motivating this UK pioneer of science and maths. I think that's an inspirational thing new the fact that they even had to be kind of in the coloreds building separate from everyone else which we see so much of in the film. And it's incredible to have all of that happening and still stay true to your maths. Right to the end, Catherine Johnson deflected praise for her role in those early NASA missions saying she was simply doing her job.
1. Discuss who Katherine Johnson is. What was her contribution to NASA?
2. How great were the contributions made by Katherine Johnson to 1960 ‘s NASA?
3. Why does NASA still do space programs when we have already been to the moon?