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Aderholt applauds NASA renaming headquarters after ‘Hidden Figure’ Mary Jackson

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine on Wednesday announced that the agency’s headquarters building in Washington, D.C., will be named after Mary W. Jackson, NASA’s first African-American female engineer and a subject of the famed book and then movie, “Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race.”

Jackson, who passed away in 2005, was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal last year. The portion of E Street SW in front of NASA Headquarters was also renamed “Hidden Figures Way” in 2019.

“Mary W. Jackson was part of a group of very important women who helped NASA succeed in getting American astronauts into space. Mary never accepted the status quo, she helped break barriers and open opportunities for African Americans and women in the field of engineering and technology,” Bridenstine said in a statement.

“Today, we proudly announce the Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters building. It appropriately sits on ‘Hidden Figures Way,’ a reminder that Mary is one of many incredible and talented professionals in NASA’s history who contributed to this agency’s success,” he continued. “Hidden no more, we will continue to recognize the contributions of women, African Americans, and people of all backgrounds who have helped construct NASA’s successful history to explore.”

Jackson began her illustrious NASA career in 1951. From 1979-1985, she served in the Federal Women’s Program at NASA’s Langley Research Center, where she worked hard to address the hiring and promotion of the next generation of female mathematicians, engineers and scientists. This included paving the way for many employees who went on to work at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-04), a staunch supporter of NASA, STEM education and Alabama’s aerospace industry, told Yellowhammer News in a statement, “One of the great things about a national space program is its ability to inspire and unify us across lines of division. I am happy to see Mary Jackson and the fellow workers she represents receive recognition for their critical work. Support for STEM education is important and is one of the most bipartisan efforts on Capitol Hill.”

RELATED: Gary Palmer honors the late NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson on House floor

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

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