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‘Hidden Figures’ mathematician honored with space station launch

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Northrop Grumman named their newest capsule the S.S. Katherine Johnson after the Black NASA mathematician profiled within the film “Hidden Figures.”

An area station provide ship named after the Black NASA mathematician featured within the film “Hidden Figures” rocketed into orbit Saturday, the 59th anniversary of John Glenn’s historic launch. 

Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus capsule — dubbed the S.S. Katherine Johnson — ought to attain the Worldwide Area Station on Monday following its launch from Virginia’s japanese shore.

Johnson died nearly precisely a 12 months in the past at age 101.

“Mrs. Johnson was chosen for her hand-written calculations that helped launch the primary People into house, in addition to her accomplishments in breaking glass ceiling after glass ceiling as a Black girl,” Frank DeMauro, a Northrop Grumman vp, mentioned on the eve of liftoff. “A homework project for all of you is to go watch that film after the Cygnus launch.”

Johnson’s numbers contributed to the Feb. 20, 1962, flight wherein Glenn grew to become the primary American to orbit the world. The movie, launched in late 2016, depicted the trouble put forth by Johnson and different Black girls at NASA’s Langley Analysis Middle in Hampton, Virginia, throughout the early days of house exploration. Langley is 100 miles (160 kilometers) from the launch website at Wallops Island. 

Northrop Grumman launched the 4-ton cargo for NASA within the early afternoon from Wallops, the place temperatures have been simply above freezing. The Antares rocket was seen from the Carolinas to Connecticut, at the very least the place skies have been clear. 

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This would be the house station’s second supply in lower than per week. A Russian capsule pulled up Wednesday with apples and oranges, amongst different issues.

“Oh, we love recent meals!!!” tweeted Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi. He famous that the house station flew over Virginia simply 10 minutes forward of Saturday’s launch.

Noguchi and his six U.S. and Russian crewmates can count on extra apples as soon as the Cygnus arrives, together with tomatoes, nuts, smoked salmon, Parmesan and cheddar cheeses, caramels and coconut strips.

The capsule additionally holds 120,000 tiny roundworms for a muscle experiment, in addition to off-the-shelf laptop gear to extend knowledge processing pace on the house station. Additionally flying: radiation detectors meant for NASA’s astronaut moon-landing program, and a brand new system to transform extra of the astronauts’ urine into ingesting water. 

It’s Northrop Grumman’s 15th station provide run for NASA. SpaceX is NASA’s different shipper.

The Related Press Well being and Science Division receives help from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Division of Science Training. The AP is solely answerable for all content material.

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