One of the Hidden Figures who helped the NASA space agency reach for the stars has been honoured by naming its headquarters in Washington DC after her.
In 1958 Mary W Jackson became the agency's first Black female engineer, and through her work opened the door for more women to follow in her footsteps. And in doing so she was breaking boundaries herself.
A mathematician and aerospace engineer, she was part of a group of women who helped NASA succeed in getting American astronauts into space playing a key role in the early days of NASA, doing the complex calculations that made space travel possible.
Ms Jackson died at age of 83 in 2005 and in 2019 she was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, one of the nation’s highest civilian honours.
Now the name of Mary Jackson, one of the inspirations for the book ‘Hidden Figures,’ officially adorns the space agency’s headquarters in Washington. NASA officially named its headquarters in the nation's capital after the agency's first Black woman engineer, with a ceremony honouring her legacy.
NASA’s acting Administrator Steve Jurczyk said during a virtual ceremony: "With the official naming of the Mary W. Jackson NASA headquarters, we ensure that she is a hidden figure no longer.
“With the official naming of the Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters, we ensure that she is a ‘Hidden Figure’ no longer.” Members of her family also attended the building’s renaming ceremony.
Ms Jackson's groundbreaking achievements was highlighted in the 2016 Margot Lee Shetterly book, ‘Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race’ which was turned into the Oscar-nominated movie ‘Hidden Figures’ later that same year.