NASA Legend Katherine Johnson Honored in Virginina

A ribbon cutting ceremony officially opened NASA Langley's new 'Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility,' a state-of-the-art lab for innovative research and development supporting NASA's exploration missions.

HAMPTON, Va. (WVEC) -- An American treasure is being honored in Hampton.

A new facility at the NASA Langley Research Center is named after Katherine Johnson. She's the woman featured in the movie "Hidden Figures" for her inspiring work at NASA Langley. People knew the mathematician as a "human computer" who calculated America's first space flights in the 1960s. 

The 99-year-old worked for NASA at a time when it was extremely difficult for African-Americans -- especially women -- to get jobs in the science field. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015.

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, Hampton Mayor Donnie Tuck, and "Hidden Figures" author Margot Lee Shetterly were among the dignitaries who were on hand to honor Johnson.

The Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility (CRF) is a $23 million, 37,000-square-foot energy efficient structure that consolidates five Langley data centers and more than 30 server rooms.

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The facility will enhance NASA's efforts in modeling and simulation, big data, and analysis. Much of the work now done by wind tunnels eventually will be performed by computers like those at the CRF.

PHOTOS: NASA legend Katherine Johnson honored with new building at NASA Langley

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