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Nasa names centre after woman who was unsung heroine of moon landings

Katherine Johnson, dubbed the human computer for her maths prowess, is 100 but did not attend the event in West Virginia.

The moon rising over Greenwich (Yui Mok/PA)
The moon rising over Greenwich (Yui Mok/PA)

A Nasa facility in West Virginia has been renamed in honour of a native of the state whose calculations helped put men on the moon 50 years ago.

Katherine Johnson was portrayed in the film Hidden Figures and is now 100 years old.

She did not attend Tuesday’s ceremony in Fairmont but was represented by two of her daughters, Joylette Hylick and Katherine Moore.

News outlets report elected officials, the Nasa administrator and a former astronaut were at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Katherine Johnson Independent Verification and Validation Facility.

Ms Johnson worked at Nasa’s Langley Research Centre in Hampton, Virginia, as a human “computer”.

Last year, Ms Johnson was honoured by alma mater West Virginia State University with a bronze statue and scholarship dedication.

PA

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