Black math 'goddess' at NASA whose work made Apollo 11 land on moon dies at 101

Black math 'goddess' at NASA whose work made Apollo 11 land on moon dies at 101

- Katherine Johnson, the Black NASA woman whose life story was portrayed in Hidden Figures has passed at age 101

- The brilliant woman who worked behind the scenes at NASA due to her race was the major force behind the historic landing of the 1st man on the moon in 1969

- In 2015, American president Barack Obama bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award on Katherine for her immense contribution

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Katherine Johnson, an outstanding NASA mathematician whose singular contribution made it possible for the 1st man Neil Armstrong, to land on the moon with Apollo 11 in 1969 has died on February 24, 2020, after living a full life of 101 years.

According to, for decades, Johnson, an African-American woman, was among NASA’s largely uncelebrated pioneers because she was a woman of colour but that did not stop her profound impact from being felt.

Due to her role in putting America on historical records for sending the first human beings to the moon, Johnson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015 by the then-president.

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The Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal are regarded as the highest civilian awards of the United States.

For the most part, the brilliant contribution of the amazing young woman was kept under the blanket until 2016, when Margot Lee Shetterly published the book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race.

Subsequently, a movie with the same title was made which told her story in great detail and made Katherine Johnson become the world-renowned individual she needed to be.

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It is indicated that long before NASA developed high-tech computers that could be trusted with complicated and delicate calculations, Katherine Johnson was a human 'computer' that was relied on anytime the going got tough.

Even at times when actual computers finally came around, the answers from the various computer software had to be compared with those of Katherine Johnson to ascertain their reliability.

In other historic news that's happened on February 24, earlier published that on February 24, 1996, the then president of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, was overthrown in a coup led by Colonel E.K. Kotoka, Major A.A. Afrifa, Lieutenant General (retired) J.A. Ankra, and Police Inspector General J.W.K. Harlley.

According to, the CIA-backed coup in Ghana was carried out at the dawn of February 24, 1966, while Nkrumah was still on a peace mission in Asia.

Interestingly, one of the strong members of the group that took down the presidency of Kwame Nkrumah was Lt-Gen. Akwasi Afrifa who was once awarded by the president at Adisadel College.

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