Washington: NASA has renamed its Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) Facility in Fairmont, West Virginia to honour “trailblazer” Katherine Johnson, who successfully calculated the trajectory for Alan Shepard’s Freedom 7 mission in 1961 amongst other feats.
The facility will now be known as the Katherine Johnson Independent Verification and Validation Facility to commemorate the mathematician’s achievements.
“It’s an honour the NASA IV&V Program’s primary facility now carries Katherine Johnson’s name. It’s a way for us to recognize Katherine’s career and contributions not just during Black History Month, but every day, every year,” NASA quoted its IV&V Program Director Gregory Blaney as saying.
US President Donald Trump had signed into law an act of Congress calling for the redesignation in December last year.
Johnson, whose path-breaking achievements inspired the Hollywood hit ‘Hidden Figures’, broke through racial barriers to achieve success at NASA at a time when racial segregation was prevalent. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015 from former US President Barack Obama.
In 2017, NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, dedicated the new Katherine Johnson Computational Research Facility in the 100-year-old’s honour.