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mathematician and aerospace technologist

Katherine Johnson was a NASA mathematician specializing in trajectory and navigation analysis and was one of the mathematicians featured in the book and film Hidden Figures. After graduating from college at age 18, Johnson was the first African American woman to attend graduate school at West Virginia University. Johnson’s reputation for computing accuracy at NASA led to a famous request from astronaut John Glenn, who refused to fly his Friendship 7 mission until Johnson verified the orbital calculations herself.

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