Katherine Johnson, NASA’s ‘human computer,’ turns 101 today

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HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Katherine Johnson turns 101 today.

As NASA’s “human computer” Johnson, helped the agency accomplish quite a few impressive feats. This included calculating the trajectories for Alan Shepard’s journey in which he became the first American to orbit the Earth.

The work of Johnson and fellow NASA engineers and mathematicians Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson became the subject of the popular 2016 film “Hidden Figures.”

A building at George Mason University and a NASA facility in West Virgnia have been named after Johnson over the last few years.

Former President Barack Obama awarded her with a Presidental Medal of Freedom in 2015. Of the former president, Johnson said, “He was pleasant.”

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