written by john c ashworth
Last night we watched part of the movie The Martian on television. A movie we've seen before and still love to watch again and again.
Imagine it...traveling to mars.
It's bold idea with audacity. Similar to the idea of landing on the moon in the 1960s.
We can in fact imagine the possibility of travel to Mars now thanks to the early work of people like Katherine Johnson. She was a computer before there were computers and John Glenn famously asked just prior to his momentous launch, "Have the girl check the numbers."
Everyone knew which 'girl' John Glenn meant and Janet spent the next two days verifying the math that was invented by her and calculated for John Glenn's flight by the IBM mainframe.
Such a great story and another great example of why I try and keep track of obituaries for people like Janet. Their stories are inspiring and their legacies' continue to have impact on us.
Here's the link to Katherine Johnson's obituary in the Washington Post. A woman ultimately bestowed the Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama - the highest honor possible to grant a US citizen by the President of the United States.