NASA’s agency headquarters building in Washington D.C. is now named after Mary W. Jackson, the first African American female engineer at NASA. Administrator Jim Bridenstine said:
“Mary W. Jackson was part of a group of very important women who helped NASA succeed in getting American astronauts into space. Mary never accepted the status quo, she helped break barriers and open opportunities for African Americans and women in the field of engineering and technology. Today, we proudly announce the Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters building. It appropriately sits on ‘Hidden Figures Way,’ a reminder that Mary is one of many incredible and talented professionals in NASA’s history who contributed to this agency’s success. Hidden no more, we will continue to recognize the contributions of women, African Americans, and people of all backgrounds who have made NASA’s successful history of exploration possible.”
Jackson started at NASA in a segregated unit in Virginia. NASA writes that “Jackson, a mathematician and aerospace engineer, went on to lead programs influencing the hiring and promotion of women in NASA’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers. In 2019, she was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.” Jackson was played by Janelle Monáe in the 2016 movie “Hidden Figures.”
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