The Congressional Gold medals, the largest civil decoration in the US, will be given to 4 African American girls recognized as “Hidden Figures” of NASA. The awards were conferred on NASA during the Space Race by engineers Christine Darden and Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Dorothy Vaughan, a computer programmer. The honors were posthumous to Harriet and Elizabeth.
A third gold medal will be awarded to all women who worked at the NASA Langley Research Center in Virginia from the 1930’s to the 1970s, as individual robots, mathematicians and technicians. The Smithsonian Institution will receive this award.
These women played the key part by sending the first man to the Moon and by sending the Voyager probes into the solar system during the American domination in the Space Race in supersonic flight research. They made room travel possible in essence. The first black women scientist for NASA was Mary Jackson.
21 years before she was the first Program Manager of the Federal Women, she worked as an engineer and was dedicated to “improving the opportunities for women mathematicians, engineers and scientists of NASA.” In 2005 she lose one’s life. For many missions, including the Apollo Missions, Kathrine Johnson provided the Space Agency with space flight path calculations.
The engineer was also the first to be recognized as an “author of the report from the Flight Research Division.” In 1949, Dorothy Vaughan was Nasa’s first Black director in the National Aeronautics Advisory Committee (NACA).
She headed the West Area Computing Group as an experienced computer programmer. In 2008, she disappeared. Such people influenced and paved the way for colored women to make history of research, mathematics and engineering.
Original article was published here.