Another cargo is going to the ISS after launching from Virginia on Saturday. The Cygnus cargo space was named the SS Katherine Johnson after the black mathematical celebrity was seen in the movie “Hidden Figures.” The capsule is due to arrive at the ISS on Monday, delivering about 8,000 pounds of supplies, car hardware and scientific materials to the station.
Some of the items in the charge will help astronauts learn about muscle loss in an experiment using worms, researching sleep quality aboard the space station, testing experimental treatments for diseases, life support systems aboard the space station, and testing equipment for month missions, among other things. Northrop Grumman Vice President Frank DeMauro says it is a tradition to name each Cygnus spaceship after an individual who played a crucial role in human spaceflight.
Mrs. Johnson was chosen for the handwritten calculations she performed that helped put the first Americans into space. Johnson was 101 years old and died on February 24, 2020. During her lifetime, she worked for NASA and her predecessor, the National Aviation Advisory Committee, worked on the early space program. Some of her major contributions to space travel include calculations that helped John Glenn become the first American to orbit the Earth.
The launch of the capsule coincided with the 59th anniversary of the historic mission. Another interesting bite about the launch was that it happened on Wallops Island, which is about 100 miles from the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, where Johnson and other black female mathematicians were seen in “Hidden Figures” actually working.
Not long ago, Russia launched a cargo ship to the ISS. That particular cargo will be the last to be set up at the Russian docking port in the coming months.