You might have heard of famous people like Ellen Degeneres, Bruce Springsteen, Robert deNiro and Michael Jordan receiving their Presidential Medal of Freedom last November 22. This award is the highest US honor given to a civilian – this means they’re really contributed a huge deal in their respective fields. What you might have missed was that President Obama also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Margaret Hamilton.
Source: ABC News
Do you know her? You might have recognized her as the woman in the iconic image where she was standing next to the code she wrote by hand that led NASA to bring Armstrong and his peers to the moon. A total badass chick right over here and it’s about time she finally got the medal she deserved. Hamilton was “the brains behind Apollo’s onboard software”. She may even have been the first ever software engineer.
Back in the 1960s, Hamilton started out as a computer programmer at MIT. NASA then assigned MIT to be in-charge of its spacecraft’s guidance and navigational system – which Hamilton took the lead of. Part of their job was to make sure the alarm system developed would warn if the computer used was already overloaded. This alarm system was considered very important in Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s landing in the Moon.
President Obama said Hamilton was the representative of “that generation of unsung women who helped send humankind into space.”
Source: The Boston Globe
Here’s a great reminder for every female engineers out there, a woman played a huge role in delivering two men to the moon in the past. Just proves that women are capable of doing great things as well.