NASA renamed a facility in honor of Katherine Johnson, the 100-year-old woman who helped put a man on the Moon.

NASA is giving some much long overdue recognition to one of America's most important space pioneers.

It was announced on February 23, that NASA is renaming the Independent Verification and Validation Facility (IV&V) in West Virginia to the Katherine Johnson IV&V Facility. In a press release, NASA praised the black mathematician, whose work was instrumental in making the historic Moon landing mission possible:

“Born in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia in 1918, Katherine’s intense curiosity and brilliance with numbers lead her to a distinguished career with the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics and NASA.”


Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

When Katherine Johnson was born in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia in 1918, the thought of a human on the moon was pure fantasy.

And the thought of African-American woman making it happen was downright preposterous.

But in 1969, Katherine Johnson, an African-American woman known as NASA’s “human computer,” was responsible for the calculations that made Neil Armstrong's “giant leap for mankind” possible.

Johnson was obsessed with counting as a young child which led to an intense interest in mathematics during elementary school. Public education wasn’t allowed for black children past the eighth grade, so Johnson’s parents sent her to attend high school on what is now the campus of West Virginia State.

After graduating high school at the age of 14, she attended West Virginia State where she studied math and science. That led to a job at the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics in Hampton, Virginia, which would later be known as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).  

Johnson advanced further than the other women in her department because of her unquenchable thirst for knowledge.

“The women did what they were told to do,” she told NASA. “They didn’t ask questions or take the task any further. I asked questions; I wanted to know why. They got used to me asking questions and being the only woman there.”

In 1962, President Kennedy tasked NASA with the seemingly-impossible task of sending a man to the moon.

Johnson was hired for the moon project, first making the calculations for Alan Shepard’s 1961 space trip and then the moon landing in 1969.

Johnson and her NASA colleagues, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan, were profiled in the 2016 Oscar-nominated drama, “Hidden Figures.”

After 33 years of service, Johnson retired from NASA in 1986. During her career, she received many prestigious awards, including: the NASA Lunar Orbiter Award and three NASA Special Achievement awards.

In 2015 she awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It was presented to her by her "boo," Barack Obama.

On August 27, 2018, NASA celebrated Johnson’s 100th birthday on Twitter:

West Virginia State honored Johnson by erecting a statue of her on campus and creating a scholarship in her name.

When asked the secret to her longevity, Johnson told the Daily Press, “I’m just lucky — the Lord likes me,” she said. “And I like him.”

More

Jameela Jamil is a gift to the world. The Good Place actor is a tireless champion for the body positive movement and has no problem calling out other celebrities for hawking dangerous diet products. She has come for the Kardashians, Iggy Azaelia, and even Cardi B (brave), and she WILL come for you if you use your massive platform to promote products that dangerously encourage young girls to lose weight. So consider yourself warned.

At the center of these controversies is a company called Flat Tummy Co., which markets diet and detox (read: diarrhea) teas, mainly to young women and girls. According to their website, these products have "not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration." And apparently the company wasn't satisfied with their teen consumer base and decided to expand....by marketing to pregnant women.

Reality star Amber Rose, who is currently pregnant, shared an ad yesterday for a Flat Tummy Tea product that is specifically geared towards helping pregnant women stay thin and "not bloated." Hell, while we're at it, let's put the baby on a diet, too, shall we!!!??? This might seem like an episode of Black Mirror, but I assure you, it's not. Here's the ad:

Keep Reading Show less
Most Shared

If you wonder why the LGBTQ community holds Pride parades, look no further than Grayson Fritts.

If you don't know who Grayson Fritts is, here's a brief intro:

He's a pastor. He's a police officer. And he is on video screaming from the pulpit that the government should kill gay people.

That's not an exaggeration.

In a video of a fist-pounding sermon at All Scripture Baptist church in Knoxville, Tennessee, Fritts said that police should round up people at Pride parades, put them through a quick trial, and then put them to death.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

Even when the competition is fierce, winning at friendship is more important than winning a game.

A viral video is making people feel alllll the good feelings, which we could frankly use more of these days.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

Prince Harry isn't just a member of England's royal family - he's also a new dad. He and Duchess Meghan of Sussex welcomed Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor into the world last month. He joins William and Kate's three offspring (George, Charlotte, and Lewis) as royal grandchildren. I assume he's being accordingly spoiled with elaborate titles, jewels, and small islands.


Keep Reading Show less
Family