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NASA changes the name of the street for "hidden" black maths


WASHINGTON, United States – NASA has rejected the street outside its Washington headquarters to honor three black maths, pioneering work on the agency's premier space program was recounted in the movie "Hidden Figures ".

Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson contributed fundamental contributions to the search of space flights from the 1940s to the 1960s, when the United States first sent men to orbit and then walk the Moon.

Despite their achievements, the three had to face racial segregation of the time.

They were among dozens of African Americans, both men and women, who worked as mathematicians and physicists for the American space program, even when they were forced to use baths separate from whites and were left out of same restaurants and schools frequented by whites. .

The work of the trio was largely forgotten until echoes were made in the book "Hidden figures" decades later by author Margot Lee Shetterly, later adapted to the 2016 blockbuster of the same name.

Shetterly said that the decision to order the figure of hidden figures honored "the contributions of invisible individuals that were at the beginning of history, and the persistence and courage of those who gave us where we are today".

"These female mathematics were doing the weight of aeronautics research and many, many other fields long before these pieces of electronic circuits became the defining feature of our life and work," he said in a Wednesday ceremony outside the NASA.

In 2015, US President Barack Obama gave Johnson, who is now 100 years old, the presidential medal for freedom, the highest civil honor in the United States.

Jackson and Vaughan died in 2005 and 2008 respectively.

NASA will celebrate the 50th anniversary next month of the success of the Apollo 11 mission and the first lunar landing of humanity.

The agency announced last month its plan to return the astronauts to the Moon in 2024 through its "Artemis" program, named by the twin sister of Apollo in Greek mythology.

© Agence France-Presse

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