For half a century, Katherine Johnson heroics within NASA were mostly hidden from the outside world.
Now his name and his heirs will remain ahead and a center in a NASA facility that epitomizes his work.
The Independent Validation and Validation Facility was named as Katherine Johnson's Independent Verification and Verification Facility (IV and V), NASA said.
"The facility program contributes to the security and success of NASA's top profile trips by making sure that mission software is performing correctly," said the space agency.
The rename could not be more suited to Johnson, who calculated the trajectory for the first American human journey to space.
In the 1950s, before using computers widely and trusted, human mathematicians are called "computers." And NASA's "Computer Pool" relies dramatically on complex calculations written by black female workers.
Any minor error could spell a disaster. But Johnson and the Computer Pool made calculations for innovative, successful space trips, including the Alan Shepard tour in 1961 – which made him the first American in space – and John Glenn's mission in 1962, which made him America's first to orbit Earth.
But Johnson's contributions, like many female "computers", were often overlooked in history. That was until 2016, when the best novel and "Hidden" figures have lightened their work and the challenges that they face – including racial separation in NASA.
A central scene in the movie includes Glenn nervously preparing for her flight. Computer machines were so new. Glenn was skeptical of her calculations. So Glenn asked Johnson – known as his NASA – independently confirming the calculations by hand before he felt comfortable enough to start his trip three times around the Earth.
But Johnson did not pick up NASA easily.
I was born in 1918 at White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia, where black people education ended at an eighth grade.
But her parents recognized her talent for maths, so she sent her to secondary school education at the West Virginia State Institute campus, a black college 100 miles away. He was paid, and graduated from the secondary school at the age of 14 and then graduated from West Virginia State in 1937 at the age of 18.
Like many girls of her time, she became a teacher – but her scenes became a research mathematician.
Following an active order that excludes racial discrimination in the defense industry, the Langley Memorial Laboratory began recruiting black people with college degrees in the 1940's for the computer fund.
For years, the women had a separate wing, "West Computing Area," and used separate facilities. That's where Johnson started in 1953.
After just two weeks, she transferred to the Flight Research Division of the facility. He worked there for years until the Soviet satellite Sputnik started the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union.
Johnson pushed his way into briefing sessions traditionally attended by men who secured a place in the internal circle of the American Space Program.
His work helped map the moon area before landing 1969 and play a part in the safe return of the Apollo 13 astronauts. Johnson retired in 1986.
Three decades later, NASA's head said that he only renewed Johnson's facility in his West Virginia home condition.
"I am pleased that we are honoring Katherine Johnson like this, as it is a truly American icon that survived incredible obstacles and inspired so much," said NASA Administrator, Jim Bridenstine.
The facility is in the process of planning a resume ceremony.