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Nasa to name HQ after its first black female engineer

26 Jun 2020 08:03, Somoy English Desk
Nasa to name HQ after its first black female engineer
Nasa to name HQ after its first black female engineer

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) headquarters is going to be named after its first black female engineer Mary Jackson.

Jim Bridenstine, an administrator of the Nasa, said Jackson contributed in breaking down the barriers for the African Americans and women in engineering and technology, reports BBC.

Mary Jackson and her tale were featured in the film Hidden Figures.

Nasa had earlier named the street in front of its headquarters after its first black female engineer’s name.

In his statement, Bridenstine also said they will keep recognising the contributions of women, African Americans and those who contributed in the glorious journey of Nasa without coming in limelight.

“Mary W Jackson was part of a group of very important women who helped Nasa succeed in getting American astronauts into space,” Bridenstine said.

Also Read: Nasa SpaceX launch: Astronauts complete rehearsal for historic mission

He said 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.

The move comes at a time of introspection across the US about historical injustices suffered by African Americans.

The recent death in police custody of George Floyd triggered protests around the world and renewed demands for an end to institutional racism.

Nasa began recruiting some college-educated African American women in the 1940s as ‘human computers’, but they experienced both racial and gender discrimination at work.

Mary Jackson was recruited in 1951 by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics which was succeeded by Nasa in 1958. She worked under Dorothy Vaughan - whose story was also told in Hidden Figures - in the segregated West Area Computing Unit at Langley, Virginia.

Jackson died in 2005 and in 2019 she was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.

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