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NASA names facility for 'Hidden Figures' inspiration Katherine Johnson

NASA announced Friday it would rename a facility in Fairmont, W.Va., in honor of the subject of the 2016 movie "Hidden Figures."

In a press release Friday, the agency announced the renaming of the Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) Facility as the Katherine Johnson Independent Verification and Validation Facility.

The renaming was done in honor of Johnson, a West Virginia native and inspiration for the film about the first black women to work for NASA.

Johnson, along with Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, worked on the 1961 Freedom 7 mission undertaken by astronaut Alan Shepard.

Johnson received the presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015, a year before the movie popularizing her story was released.

"I am thrilled we are honoring Katherine Johnson in this way as she is a true American icon who overcame incredible obstacles and inspired so many," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in the press release. "It's a fitting tribute to name the facility that carries on her legacy of mission-critical computations in her honor."

The 2016 film made $235 million in revenue at the box office and previously resulted in the agency naming the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., after Johnson as well.

"It's an honor the NASA IV&V Program's primary facility now carries Katherine Johnson's name," NASA's IV&V Program Director Gregory Blaney added in the release Friday. "It's a way for us to recognize Katherine's career and contributions not just during Black History Month, but every day, every year."

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