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Ship with the name of black mathematician travels to ISS

A spacecraft named after an African-American mathematician from NASA featured in the movie “Hidden Figures” took off with supplies for the space station, on the 59th anniversary of John Glenn’s historic launch.

Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus capsule – named SS Katherine Johnson – is expected to arrive at the International Space Station on Monday after its launch from the east coast of Virginia.

Johnson passed away almost exactly one year ago at the age of 101.

“Ms. Johnson was selected for her handwritten calculations that helped send the first Americans into space, as well as for her accomplishments in breaking through barrier after barrier as a black woman,” stressed Northrop Grumman Vice President Frank DeMauro, the day before takeoff.

“You are all tasked with going to see that movie after Cygnus takes off.”

Johnson’s calculations contributed to the flight on February 20, 1962, in which Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth.

The film, released in late 2016, describes the efforts of Johnson and other black women at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, during the early days of space exploration. Langley is located 100 miles (160 kilometers) from the launch pad on Wallops Island.

Northrop Grumman launched a four-ton cargo for NASA from Wallops, where temperatures were just above freezing. AND

he Antares rocket was spotted from the Carolinas to Connecticut, at least where the sky was mirrored.

This will be the second shipment to the space station in less than a week. A Russian capsule took off on Wednesday with apples and oranges, among other things.

“Oh, we love fresh food!” Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi tweeted. He noted that the space station had passed over Virginia 10 minutes before Saturday’s launch.

Noguchi and his six American and Russian companions at the station can expect the Cygnus to bring them more apples, as well as tomatoes, walnuts, smoked salmon, Parmesan and cheddar cheeses, caramels and coconut strips.