Katherine Johnson, a groundbreaking black NASA mathematician whose life was portrayed in the film "Hidden Figures", died on Monday at the age of 101.
Johnson's calculations helped bring the first man to the moon in 1969, but she was little known until the 2017 Oscar-nominated film told the stories of three black women who worked at NASA.
"She was an American heroine and her groundbreaking legacy will never be forgotten," said NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine, praising "her courage and the milestones that we could not have achieved without her."
Johnson and a colleague were the first to calculate the parameters of the 1961 suborbital flight of astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American in space.
Her mathematical talents later helped determine the trajectory of the Apollo 11 flight that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon in July 1969.
In 2015, President Barack Obama presented Johnson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the country.
Two years later, then 98-year-old Johnson attended the 2017 Oscars when "Hidden Figures" was nominated and took the stage to receive a standing ovation.
"Ms. Johnson has helped our nation expand the boundaries of space, although it has made great strides that have also opened doors for women and colored people," said Bridenstine in a statement.
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