NASA renames headquarters to honour 'hidden figures' scientist Mary Jackson

WION Web Team
Washington, United States Published: Feb 27, 2021, 01.34 PM(IST)

NASA renames HQ after Mary Jackson Photograph:( Twitter )

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She worked with NASA for 34 years where she started as a mathematician conducting research but went on to become the first African-American female engineer

Respecting the contributions of NASA's first African-American female engineer, Mary Jackson, the space organisation has decided to rename its Washington DC's headquarters.

On Friday, in a ceremony held at the Washington building, the headquarters' name was formally changed in Jackson's honour.

Jackson started her career with the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) in April 1951.

Also read| Space station launch honours Black NASA mathematician in 'Hidden Figures' film

She worked with NASA for 34 years where she started as a mathematician conducting research but went on to become the first African-American female engineer.

Jackson, later, moved into administration and worked as NASA's equal opportunity officer, with the aim to promote equality and provide similar opportunities to people from different backgrounds.

"She helped us propel the dawn of the Space Age through her work as a ‘human computer’. Now, our headquarters building will be named in her honor," NASA said in a tweet.

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She was also honoured with the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor of the country, in 2019. 

The mathematician especially rose to fame after she was featured as one of the subjects of the book "Hidden Figures", which was later turned into a movie.

"NASA facilities across the country are named after people who dedicated their lives to push the frontiers of the aerospace industry. The nation is beginning to awaken to the greater need to honor the full diversity of people who helped pioneer our great nation," former NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said.

Vice President Kamala Harris, who is the first woman, African-American and Asian origin VP of the country, also tweeted in the praise of Jackson.

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"Mary W. Jackson, one of the ‘Hidden Figures,’ was critical to getting American astronauts into space. She broke barriers at home, persevered, and inspired the next generation of engineers, scientists, and explorers. I’m pleased to see @NASA’s DC headquarters named in her honor," she said.

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