"Few people are brilliant enough to be a computer programmer or a mathematician. Even fewer can add "rocket scientist for NASA" to their resume. Annie Easley, however, was all three. During her 34-year career, she worked not only on technologies that led to hybrid vehicles, but also on software that enabled great strides in spaceflight and exploration. And if that wasn’t notable enough, Easley also did all of this as one of the first few African-Americans in her field.”
This is Melba Roy Mouton Assistant Chief of Research Programmes at NASA’s Trajectory and Geodynamics Division. Initially a mathematician she worked her way up through the company working as a Head Computer Programmer and then Programme Production Section Chief at Goddard Space Flight Centre. Melba graduated from Howard university in 1950, a black college and safe haven for students of colour who were terrorized at other institutions. Howard has had an open race & gender policy since its inception. In 1959 she started working at NASA where she was head mathematician for Echo Satellites 1 and 2.
Michael P. Anderson was born December 25, 1959, in Plattsburgh, New York, but considered Spokane, Washington, to be his hometown. Died on February 1, 2003 over the southern United States when Space Shuttle Columbia and her crew perished during entry, 16 minutes prior to scheduled landing. He is survived by his wife and children. Michael enjoyed photography, chess, computers, and tennis.