What did Annie Easley accomplishments?
What did Mary Jackson accomplish?
78 years (1933–2011)
Annie Easley/Age at death
An upcoming book and movie both entitled Hidden Figures tell the story of NASA’s female African-American mathematicians back in the 1960’s. Johnson was one of those women who served as the space agency’s living computers — rocket scientist Annie Easley was also one — before NASA started using actual machines.
Mary Jackson was a mathematician and aerospace engineer. In 1951 she joined the West Computers at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, and in 1958 she became the first black female engineer at NASA.
“My head is not in the sand. But my thing is, if I can’t work with you, I will work around you. I was not about to be [so] discouraged that I’d walk away. That may be a solution for some people, but it’s not mine.”
She related a story of being photographed, along with her co-workers, for NASA promotional photographs. She was humiliated to find that, no matter where the photos were used, she was cut out of them. She was denied financial aid that NASA gave to other employees to pay for additional college courses.
Annie Easley of NASA Glenn was a human ‘computer’ like those in ‘Hidden Figures’ (photos) Annie Easley was Cleveland’s earliest Hidden Figure, beginning her career in 1955 and doing the math for simulations for the Aircraft Engine Research Facility in Cleveland in the early days of what became NASA.
She developed and implemented code used in researching energy-conversion systems, analyzing alternative power technology—including the battery technology that was used for early hybrid vehicles, as well as for the Centaur upper-stage rocket.
Annie Easley/Living or Deceased
Easley was born April 23, 1933 to Bud McCrory and Willie Sims in Birmingham, Alabama. In the days before the Civil Rights Movement, educational and career opportunities for African-American children were very limited. However, Easley’s mother encouraged and motivated her to work hard and pursue her dreams.
Easley’s work with the Centaur project helped lay the technological foundations for future space shuttle launches and launches of communication, military and weather satellites. Her work contributed to the 1997 flight to Saturn of the Cassini probe, the launcher of which had the Centaur as its upper stage.
She worked on Centaur technology at NASA — a high-energy rocket technology that uses liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen to boost rockets into space. She also co-authored numerous papers about nuclear engines in rockets and she worked on solar, wind and energy projects.