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Mathematician Katherine Johnson has passed away at the age of 101.
NASA has shared the heartbreaking news that Johnson, who was portrayed by Taraji P. Henson in the film Hidden Figures, died on Monday morning, Feb. 24. In a tribute to Johnson, NASA is reflecting on her many achievements and her incredible legacy.
"NASA is deeply saddened by the loss of a leader from our pioneering days, and we send our deepest condolences to the family of Katherine Johnson," the statement from administrator Jim Bridenstine reads. "Ms. Johnson helped our nation enlarge the frontiers of space even as she made huge strides that also opened doors for women and people of color in the universal human quest to explore space."
"Her dedication and skill as a mathematician helped put humans on the moon and before that made it possible for our astronauts to take the first steps in space that we now follow on a journey to Mars," the statement continues.