NASA naming headquarters after ‘Hidden Figures’ engineer Mary Jackson

Space Science

Mary Winston Jackson (1921–2005) successfully overcame the barriers of segregation and gender bias to become a professional aerospace engineer and leader in ensuring equal opportunities for future generations.
(Credits: NASA)

MYSTERY WIRE (Washington, D.C.) — NASA’s headquarter is getting a new name, and it honors the agency’s first Black female engineer Mary Jackson.

Acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk will lead the naming ceremony in Washington Friday at around 1 p.m. EST. Members of Jackson’s family will be 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.”

Space station launch honors ‘Hidden Figures’ mathematician 

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.

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