Katherine G. Johnson, the human computer behind some of NASA’s biggest advancements and one of the real-life inspirations behind the critically-acclaimed movie Hidden Figures, has been honored by NASA with a new research building: the Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility.
Hidden Figures told the story of three African-American women who broke barriers at NASA. Johnson, along with Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, shattered the segregational norms within the agency in the 1960s to push forward some of the country’s greatest aerospace advancements.
Johnson, the 99-year-old mathematician, attended the ribbon cutting for the $23-million, 37,000-square-foot data center held in her honor on Sept. 22.
“You have been a trailblazer,” said Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe at the ceremony. “When I think of Virginia and the history of what we’ve gone through … you’re at the top of that list”
In 2015, Johnson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work as a trailblazer in the space program.