tv NASA Research Mathematician Katherine Johnson CSPAN May 30, 2020 10:55am-11:05am EDT
groups from all over the state of new hampshire and other states came in to see planetarium shows and a little bit of the tribute we had around here to christa. in 2009, we added on a huge addition to make this the mcauliffe-sheppard science center, honoring alan shepard, the first american in space. and it helped the people of concord heal and realize that christa was a role model for people all over the country, all over the world. >> west virginia native katherine johnson but at the role in nasa's missions to put men on space and on the moon.
>> what is the status on that computer? >> she speaks. >> yes sir. i do. >> which one? >> both. geometry and speaking. i prefer it over euclidean coordinates. >> catherine has had the fortune of having hollywood shine a light on her life. there are people right here in west virginia that had no idea of what katherine johnson did for nasa and united states of america. when the movie hidden figures came out, it showed everyone who katherine johnson was, what she did and how profound she was in the pages of american history.
she was hired as what they called then a computer. she simply came in and did mathematical equations for nasa. but they did not realize was that she was more than just a computer. she was a mathematical genius. that is what katherine johnson was. >> 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. zero. >> in fact, john glenn who said this computer thing, not katherine, this building that -- this computer that was built -- you want to been verified by katherine johnson. here is the important part. he did not ask the mathematicians from m.i.t.. he did not ask the mathematicians from stanford or harvard. he asked the brilliant mathematician from west virginia state university to calculate my
trajectory and make sure i get home safe. that says a lot about what catherine was to not only nasa but what she meant to the individual she worked with. they relied on her. they put their lives in her hands. what she meant to nasa was that we won the space race. katherine johnson played a significant role in that. katherine is from a small town a few hours from west virginia state university. we had the privilege to have her beautiful face on our campus at the age of 10. because she was unable to go to high school in her hometown because of the hue of her skin. she and her family had to travel two hours to come to west virginia state university. we had an elementary and a high school that was a part of the university at the time.
a young katherine johnson with all of her skills and intelligence came here and she graduated at the age of 15. then she entered what was then west virginia state college. she left us at the age of 18. she never looked back. in 1937 when she graduated, she went into the field of teaching. she was inspired here and understood the significance of teaching and paying it forward. she went into teaching for about 13 years. katherine entered nasa at a time when america was still living in dual worlds. we had a white america and in african-american america. katherine was having to delicately walk in both worlds. she went to work every day and gave nasa and the astronauts,
none of whom looked like her, 100%. she said in spite of how i am -- how i am treated, what i can do, i am going to come here and fight to make sure i do the best job possible for my country and for the space race. nasa, there were three significant space ventures she played a significant role in. one was alan shepard, the first individual in space. she calculated theinto space. we also know she played a very significant role in john glenn, and john glenn said throughout his life and at the end of his venture into not space if katherine johnson was
not checking because relations on his spaceflight. the actual flight with john glenn where he orbited the earth, katherine johnson played a significant role in it we also aow that catherine played significant role in the moon landing. those are three pivotal moments space travel and how we in the united states of america seat nasa today. i had the pleasure on katherine with herirthday to be at the green briar and at 99, i of all sharp she still was. we laughed. we joked. she was as radiant and beautiful walkeds she was when she onto campus in the 1930's. i asked myself, as people learn more and more about katherine johnson at the university she
loved so dear and we love her equally, we have to do something to recognize her and make sure it is street never forgets how profound she was. got a team of my faculty and staff together. honord we are going to katherine johnson by putting a statue on our campus, her alma mater. our teamme i got together, we had eight to nine months. the goal was to do it on her 100th birthday. [applause] johnson you are no longer and never again hidden. >> and so on august 5, 2018 we
had dr. katherine johnson and about 1000 supporters right here on our campus. five,, 3, 2, 1. [cheering] that day. it was beautiful. she was able to be with us. momenta crystallizing that catherine johnson, regardless of what she does from here on out, she will be part of west virginia state university for ever. her story is inspiring people all over the world. likedsaid that katherine to count everything. when she was younger she counted the rocks in the yard. she counted the steps to church. she counted everything. when we dedicated this statue to
her in 20 18 on her 100th birthday, i told katherine i knew something she could not count, and that's the number of people she has inspired. that's the katherine johnson story. it is my hope that young men and women of all races and economic backdrops will take time to learn about this incredible american icon. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020] well, good morning and welcome to the kennedy space center as we once again prepare to launch bob and