NASA naming headquarters after ‘Hidden Figures’ engineer Mary Jackson

Black History Month

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — NASA’s headquarters is getting a new name, and it honors the agency’s first Black female engineer Mary Jackson.

Acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk led the naming ceremony in Washington Friday. Members of Jackson’s family were present.

Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters building in Washington, D.C. Credits: NASA

Jackson “overcame the barriers of segregation and gender bias to become a professional aerospace engineer and leader in ensuring equal opportunities for future generations,” NASA said.

She started out in the segregated West Area Computing Unit of NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. A mathematician and aerospace engineer, Jackson eventually led programs that influenced NASA’s hiring and promotion of women.

Jackson posthumously received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2019, along with three other African American women who worked at NASA and were highlighted in the 2016 book and movie “Hidden Figures.”

Mathematician Katherine Johnson was among those who were honored. Last week, a space station supply ship, Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus capsule, was named after Johnson. It rocketed into orbit on Feb. 20.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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