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Vanessa Wyche Will Be The First Black Woman To Lead A NASA Center

A  Black woman is making history at NASA once again! According to Texas Public Radio, Vanessa Wyche will become the first Black woman to serve as director of a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) center. Wyche, a 30-year- NASA veteran, will lead efforts in human spaceflight missions, the nation’s astronaut corps, International Space Station mission operations, and the Orion Program at the Johnson Space Center. NASA’s Johnson Space Center, located in Houston, Texas, is ready to embark on a new era of space flight and exploration led by Wyche. “We’ll have the opportunity to have robotic missions as well as human missions going to the moon and working in tandem together,” said Wyche in an interview. “So, yeah, now is an extremely exciting time.” That excitement includes partnering with SpaceX and Boeing on missions to the ISS which will eventually lead to missions to the Moon, reports Houston Public Media. “SpaceX has been successful at having our astronauts fly on...

Shanique Yates

Jul 14, 2021

Meet the Black Women of the Past and Present Who Have Reshaped the Engineering Industry

For years, women have been left out of the conversation when it comes to the field of engineering, but these Black women have reshaped the industry like never before. According to a study by the National Society of Black Engineers, “African American women, in particular, are pursuing engineering degrees three times less often than their male counterparts (Slaughter et al, 2015).” Despite the challenges faced, these women have paved and continue to pave the way for Black women to see themselves within the field of engineering. Katherine Johnson Photo Credit: Twitter / @NASA This hidden figure was handpicked as one of the three Black students to integrate West Virginia University’s graduate schools in 1939. Later in her career, she went on to calculate the trajectory that helped the first Americans reach the moon as a NASA research mathematician. Dr. Donna Auguste Twitter / @iamCatoAmir In the early 1980s, Dr. Donna Auguste became a lead software engineer at Apple Computers. Here she...

Shanique Yates

Mar 29, 2021

Michelle Obama, NASA Engineer Katherine Johnson Among 2021 National Women's Hall of Fame Inductees

Former first lady Michelle Obama leads this year’s class of National Women’s Hall of Fame inductees, which also includes NASA’s first Black woman engineer Katherine Johnson, according to CNN. As the first Black woman to serve as the first lady of the United States, the National Women’s Hall of Fame credits her as having “emerged as one of the most influential and iconic women of the 21st century,” according to a statement on the organization’s website. “Both in and out of the White House, Michelle Obama has accomplished her initiatives and so much more—becoming an advocate for healthy families, service members and their families, higher education, international adolescent girls’ education,” it continues. Additionally, the organization shares that Obama has established herself as “a strong advocate for women and girls” in the U.S. and around the world. Over the years, Michelle Obama has established herself as an incredible leader and advocate among all, creating multiple advocacy...

Njera Perkins

Mar 10, 2021

How Figures Like Katherine Johnson Paved the Way For the Next Generation of Black Women in STEM

“I care a lot about preparing things for the future, but at the same time I honor those who’ve come before me and recognize the sacrifices that they made.” KaYesu Machayo, 21, didn’t necessarily set out to pursue a career in STEM, but attributes her interest in the field to those who paved the way like Katherine Johnson — the hidden figure responsible for not only putting an astronaut into orbit around Earth, but helping to put a man on the moon too. Machayo is a daughter of the generation that Johnson made leaps for. As a Girls Who Code, alum, Machayo has an interest in using technology not only for social good, but to also close the gender gap and create things that make the world a more equitable place. Girls Who Code is a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology by using their programs to educate, equip and inspire girls like Machayo with the computing skills they’ll need to pursue 21st-century opportunities. These are the opportunities that...

Shanique Yates

Feb 12, 2021

Hidden Figures' NASA Mathematician, Katherine Johnson, Passes Away At 101

NASA mathematician, Katherine Johnson, has passed away at 101-years-old. Johnson was a Black mathematician who calculated the flight path for NASA’s first space mission and the first moon landing. The details of her accomplishments were highlighted in the 2017 box office hit, “Hidden Figures.” As an African American aerospace pioneer, Johnson was a trailblazer for racial equity and an advocate for STEM education. Born in 1918 — in White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia — Johnson defied the odds and went on to graduate from West Virginia State College with highest honors in 1937. She then went on to work at what is now known as NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. In the midst of racial and gender oppression, Johnson didn’t let discrimination stop her from achieving her dreams of becoming a research mathematician. “I didn’t have time for that… don’t have a feeling of inferiority. Never had. I’m as good as anybody, but no better,” she said in a NASA press release. In...

Devin Crudup

Feb 24, 2020

NASA's 'Hidden Figures' Now Have Their Own Street In D.C.

It’s been three years since “Hidden Figures” hit theaters celebrating the lives and legacies of three African American women who put a man into space. Now, NASA is honoring those same women with a street in front of its national headquarters in Washington, D.C. Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson will live on through the newly named, “Hidden Figures Way,” which will replace E Street Southwest. Today, the street in front of @NASA HQ in D.C. is being renamed "Hidden Figures Way" in honor of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan & Mary Jackson. Tune in to NASA TV at 1pm EDT for a special @airandspace "STEM in 30" commemorating these amazing women! — NASA STEM (@NASASTEM) June 12, 2019 Each of the women served integral roles in helping NASA. Johnson worked for NASA for over 30 years. She’s most well known for her role in the orbital mission that sent John Glenn to space. Johnson, a brilliant mathematician, checked the work...

Arriana McLymore

Jun 12, 2019