Katherine Johnson worked as a NASA mathematician for 35 years. Her calculations of orbital mechanics were critical in making the manned spaceflights a success. She calculated trajectories, emergency return paths and launch windows. She was an aerospace technologist working with a pool of women referred to as “computers who wore skirts.” She worked on the Space Shuttle program and on plans for the missions to Mars. In 2015, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama.
The term “computer” originated in 1613 and meant “one who computes” indicating someone who performs complex mathematical calculations. The early computers focused on astronomy and navigation. In 1940, NASA began hiring female African-American’s as mathematicians. These women went on to become the first professional computer programmers.
This Katherine Johnson History Mug is part of our biographical series which includes many unique individuals who played an important part in molding our U.S. history.
The biographical History Mugs were created to teach and inspire individuals to learn about our diverse and interesting history. The biographies were researched and written by history enthusiast, Robert Compton. He colorized most of the historic photos and images used on the mugs, which were originally black and white or sepia tone. The images and biographies are imprinted on mugs at his studio in rural Vermont.
- Mugs are food and microwave safe.
- To preserve photographic quality we recommend hand washing.
- Mugs are usually shipped within 3-5 days.
- Shipping charges are lower when buying multiple mugs.