NASA's Hidden Computer Women

Courtesy of NASA

When NASA was formed in 1958, its prized pool of all-female "computers" desegregated. Until then, mathematicians of color -- including Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Katherine Johnson -- worked, ate and used the restroom in a separate facilities. Cristen and Caroline shed overdue light on Johnson and her brilliant West Computer teammates who helped launch America into space.

Episode Sources:

"NASA's black women boffins get big-screen countdown"

"Margot Lee Shetterly: Hidden Figures"

"African-American women worked as some of NASA's first computers"

"Human computers"

"From computers to leaders: Women at NASA Langley"

"Human computers at NASA"

"West Area Computers: Trailblazers in American Space History"

"When the computer wore a skirt: Langley's computers, 1935-1970"

"The black female mathematicians who sent astronauts to space"

"Presidential Medal of Freedom honors a NASA 'computer'"

"Miriam Daniel Mann"

"Dorothy Vaughan"

"Kathryn Peddrew"

"Sue Edmondson Wilder"

"Wednesday geek woman: Melba Roy Mouton"

"Standing on the shoulders of a computer"

"NASA and women of color: Recruitment, building a pipeline, and ensuring inclusion and diversity in the workforce"

Topics in this Podcast: women in the workplace, NASA, history, education, racism, women in stem, black history