May 02, 2019

Manchin Secures NASA Administrator Attendance At Renaming For Katherine Johnson On July 2nd

Washington, DC – In the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science hearing today on the FY 2020 budget for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), invited Administrator Jim Bridenstine to join him in West Virginia for the renaming of the Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) Facility in Fairmont to the Katherine Johnson IV&V Facility. In a follow up call, Administrator Bridenstine committed to coming to West Virginia to join Senator Manchin for the renaming ceremony on July 2nd.

“I am so glad to hear that Administrator Bridenstine will be in West Virginia for this historic and important day for Katherine Johnson and the entire state of West Virginia. Katherine Johnson is a national hero that deserves every honor and accolade we can bestow upon her and Administrator Bridenstine’s attendance will be such a great addition.” 

Katherine Johnson, a native West Virginian and renowned mathematician, has been recognized and honored in recent years for the role she played in putting the first man on the moon. Senator Manchin helped pass legislation that honored her life, legacy, and scientific contributions by renaming NASA’s IV&V facility in Fairmont in her honor. Katherine Johnson, of White Sulphur Springs, graduated with degrees in mathematics and French at the age of just 18 from West Virginia State, before becoming the first African-American woman to attend graduate school at West Virginia University. Senator Manchin met with Ms. Johnson and her family and gave remarks last year at a dedication ceremony for a new statue in her honor at West Virginia State University.

In the hearing today, Senator Manchin also stressed the importance of Green Bank Observatory for both West Virginia and the science community as a whole. Senator Manchin said in part: “I think that it can be a tremendous asset for the security of our nation and the safety of our globe. This year in January, the Green Bank Telescope helped give astronomers the most detailed images of a potentially dangerous asteroid passing close to Earth.  It’s a natural asset for our country.”  Administrator Bridenstine acknowledged the importance of Green Bank, as well as the importance of identifying near-earth orbit objects like asteroids and meteors that can threaten our planet.