NASA names headquarters after Mary Jackson, the agency’s first Black female engineer

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2020-06-25 11:48:08

NASA has announced its Washington DC headquarters will be named after Mary Jackson, the agency’s first Black female engineer. Jackson broke racial and gender barriers to help put American astronauts into space. Her story, along with that of fellow Black mathematicians Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughan, was told in the 2016 film Hidden Figures. Continue reading on The Verge

NASA has announced it will name its headquarters in Washington DC after the agency’s first Black female engineer, Mary Jackson.

Jackson started work at NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), in 1951 at the then-segregated West Area Computing Unit. She took night classes in mathematic and physics to qualify as an engineer in 1958, before rising to achieve the most senior title within the engineering department in 1979. Her work at the agency, along with that of fellow Black female engineers and mathematicians, Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughan, was told in the 2016 film Hidden Figures.

“Mary W. Jackson was part of a group of very important women who helped NASA succeed in getting American astronauts into space,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a press statement. “Mary never accepted the status quo, she helped break barriers and open opportunities for African Americans and women in the field of engineering and technology.”

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