While she wasn't the first black woman to work as a NASA mathematician, her barrier-breaking story was key in recognizing the achievements that African American scientists contributed to spaceflight during the 1960s.
Widely honored: Especially since the release of "Hidden Figures" and the 2016 nonfiction book about the NASA computers it was based on, Johnson received many awards and honors for her groundbreaking work.
"My favorite, because I've seen the results of what's happening with girls and coding and making space for women in science, [is] Katherine Johnson in Hidden Figures", she said. Darden, who sat down with WAVY's Laura in 2018, is 77 and still lives in Hampton Roads.
Pioneering African-American Nasa mathematician Katherine Johnson has died at the age of 101. The paper represented a significant contribution to the determination of orbital trajectories in space, and through the paper, she became the first woman to receive credit for her contribution to a report at the Flight Research Division, according to CNN.
Her inspiration reaches far and wide inside Fairmont's NASA facility every day to people who, like Johnson, are just doing their jobs.
In addition to her daughters, Johnson is survived by six grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
John Glenn thought so highly of her that he insisted Johnson be consulted before his historic earth-orbiting flight in 1962. Then-US President Barack Obama later cited her in his State of the Union address as an example of the country's spirit of discovery.
NASA announced Johnson's passing on its Twitter account. "Her story and her grace continue to inspire the world", he added.
"We needed to be assertive as women in those days - assertive and aggressive - and the degree to which we had to be that way depended on where you were". After learning of Johnson's February 24 death at a retirement home in Newport News, Va., the actress took to Instagram to celebrate her remarkable life. I will forever be honoured to have been a part of bringing your story to life.
Born on 26 August 1918 in White Sulphur Springs, Johnson was an accomplished leader in her field, having been handpicked to be one of three black students to integrate West Virginia's graduate schools and graduated with the highest honours from college in 1937. When West Virginia made a decision to integrate its graduate schools in 1939, West Virginia State's president, Dr. John W. Davis, selected her and two men to be the first black students offered spots at the state's flagship school, West Virginia University.