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NASA's 'hidden figure' Katherine Johnson dies

Feb 25, 2020 13:28 IST

Katherine Johnson, a mathematician who calculated rocket trajectories and earth orbits for NASA's early space missions and was later portrayed in the 2016 hit film "Hidden Figures," about pioneering black female aerospace workers, has died. She was a 101 years old. Johnson died Monday of natural causes at a retirement community in Virginia. Johnson was one of the "computers" who solved equations by hand during NASA's early years. Johnson and her co-workers had been relatively unsung heroes of America's Space Race. But in 2015, President Barack Obama awarded Johnson — then 97 — the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.