Katherine Johnson

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Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson

Summary: Worked with tracking teams of manned and unmanned orbital missions. Spacecraft include the Earth Resources Satellite, lunar orbital missions, and Apollo moon missions. Received Group Achievement Award presented to NASA’s Lunar Spacecraft and Operations Team.

Born: 8/26/1918, White Sulphur Springs, WV

NACA: Computer, June 1953

Aerospace Technologist, 1958

Retired, 1986


[top] Notable Calculations

1959 - Trajectory for Alan Shepard‘s flight

Back-up navigation charts for astronauts

1962 – Verified calculations made for the 1st time by electronic computer for John Glenn’s orbit

1969 – Apollo 11 trajectory to the Moon

[top] Technical Reports

Co-authored 26 scientific papers, some of which include:

NASA TN D-233, The Determination of Azimuth Angle at Burnout for Placing a Satellite over a Selected Earth Position 1960. T.H. Skopinski, Katherine G. Johnson.

NASA TN D-1366, The Orbital Behavior of the Echo 1 Satellite and its Rocket Casing During the First 500 Days 1962. Gertrude C. Westrick, Katherine G. Johnson.

NASA TN D-6752, Simplified Interplanetary Guidance Procedures Using Onboard Optical Measurements 1972. Harold A. Hamer, Katherine G. Johnson.

NASA TP-1758, Pseudosteady-State Analysis of Nonlinear Aircraft Maneuvers 1980. John W. Young, Albert A. Schy, Katherine G. Johnson.

NASA TP-2484, Decoupled and Linear Quadratic Regulator Control of a Large, Flexible Space Antenna With an Observer in the Control Loop 1985. Harold A. Hamer, Katherine G. Johnson, and John W. Young.

NASA TP-2604, Effects of Model Error on Control of Large Flexible Space Antenne with Comparisions of Decoupled and Linear Quadratic Regulator Control Procedures 1986. Harold A. Hamer, Katherine G. Johnson.

For more reports, search for K. Johnson on http://ntrs.nasa.gov

[top] Videos

Visionary Project: The National Visionary Leadership Project (NVLP) is the premier resource for oral history interviews with African American elders who shaped the 20th century.

Excellent Biography

Working at NASA

Becoming a NASA Mathematician

America’s First Space Flight

Makers Profile: NASA Mathematician

[top] Photos

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