NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson dies at 101

One of the women behind the inspirational movie ‘Hidden Figures’ Katherine Johnson has died at 101-years-old.

Johnson, a mathematician, was instrumental in calculating rocket trajectories which assisted in the sending astronauts into space and also helped in the travel to the moon.

The news of her death was announced by NASA via their Twitter page on Monday morning. In it, NASA noted that they were saddened at the loss and expressed that, “today, we celebrate her 101 years of life and honor her legacy of excellence that broke down racial and social barriers”.

She and three other black women have been hailed for their pivotal roles in space discovery and this was highlighted in the Oscar-nominated 2016 film where Taraji P. Henson played the role of Johnson. Henson celebrated Katherine Johnson’s pivotal role in inspiring young girls to dream big.

The film tells the story of the women whose math skills helped put US astronaut John Glenn into orbit around the earth in 1962 where Ms Johnson verified the calculations made by new computers before his flight at the time.