Los Angeles Times

How the women of NASA made their mark on the space program

HOUSTON - The Civil Rights Act had just passed and the slide rule was giving way to computers when Frances "Poppy" Northcutt arrived at NASA's Houston campus in 1965, eager to join the space race. But her job title stunned her: "computress."

Northcutt, then 22 and fresh out of the University of Texas at Austin with a mathematics degree, soon learned that at NASA, men were engineers, women "computresses" or "human computers," with less status and less pay.

But Northcutt persevered, and three years later, during the Apollo 8 mission, she would become the first woman to work in Mission Control.

As the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing approaches, Northcutt and other women who helped America's space efforts are reflecting on their often unheralded roles - and the indignities they endured. Many were lone pioneers, fighting behind the scenes to not only build their own careers, but to advance those of other women and minorities at NASA.

When Northcutt started at the agency, she knew nothing of fellow computresses at NASA's Langley, Va., research center - African American female mathematicians made famous in the book and 2016 film "Hidden Figures." What Northcutt

Vous lisez un aperçu, inscrivez-vous pour en lire plus.

Plus de Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times4 min de lecture
Dylan Hernandez: The Bottom Line Is That Without Kenley Jansen, The Dodgers Can't Win The World Series
LOS ANGELES_A wave of relief swept over Dodger Stadium as Kenley Jansen slapped his chest in triumph. Disaster was averted. A day after the Dodgers watched the New York Yankees destroy their No. 1 starter, they limited their visitors to a solitary ru
Los Angeles Times3 min de lectureSociety
L.A. County Sheriff's Deputy Faked Being Shot By A Sniper, Authorities Say
LOS ANGELES - A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy falsely claimed last week he was shot by a sniper at the Lancaster sheriff's station. He'll now be the subject of a criminal investigation, officials said late Saturday. The dramatic twist in the ca
Los Angeles Times8 min de lecturePolitics
This New Hampshire Voter's Mission Is To See Every Presidential Candidate In Person
BEDFORD, N.H. - Cheri Schmitt keeps her to-do list of more than 20 names on a dry-erase board on the refrigerator in her Bedford, N.H., home. Joe Biden. Kamala Harris. Elizabeth Warren. Bernie Sanders. Schmitt, 56, is an elementary school teacher, an