NASA to name HQ after first black female engineer

The late Mary Jackson (Photo: The New York Times)

NASA will be honouring its first black female engineer, Mary Jackson by naming its Headquarters in Washington DC after her.

Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine said Jackson had helped to break down barriers for African Americans and women in engineering and technology.

Jackson became NASA’s first black engineer in 1958 and worked as part of a group of very important women who helped Nasa succeed in getting American astronauts into space.

She was recruited in 1951 by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics which was succeeded by Nasa in 1958. She worked under Dorothy Vaughan in the segregated West Area Computing Unit at Langley, Virginia.

Jackson died in 2005 and in 2019 she was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.

Her story was told in the movie ‘Hidden Figures’, but Bridenstine believes it time to shine even more light on her.

“Hidden no more, we will continue to recognise the contributions of women, African Americans, and people of all backgrounds who have made Nasa’s successful history of exploration possible,”  he said in a statement.