Melba Roy Mouton

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Melba Roy Mouton
Melba Roy - Female Computer - GPN-2000-001647.jpg
Melba Roy in 1960
Born 1929
Fairfax, Virginia
Died 25 June 1990
Silver Spring, Maryland
Institutions United States Census Bureau, Army Map Service, Goddard Space Flight Center
Alma mater Howard University
Notable awards Apollo Achievement Award, NASA Exceptional Performance Award

Melba Roy Mouton (1929-1990) was an African-American woman who served as Assistant Chief of Research Programs at NASA's Trajectory and Geodynamics Division in the 1960s[1] and headed a group of NASA mathematicians called "computers".[2] Starting as a mathematician, she was head mathematician for Echo Satellites 1 and 2, and she worked up to being a Head Computer Programmer and then Program Production Section Chief at Goddard Space Flight Center.

Mouton was born in 1929,[3] in Fairfax, Virginia to Rhodie and Edna Chloe. She graduated from Howard University in 1950 with a master's degree in mathematics. She started working for NASA in 1959, after working for the Army Map Service and the Census Bureau. During her time at NASA, she not only oversaw the tracking of the Echo Satellites, but also contributed to seminars on A Programming Language [4] and an article published by NASA about documenting computer code.[5] She was also prominently featured in an advertisement centered on NASA's diversity in the Afro American alongside her other African American colleagues.[6] At NASA, she received an Apollo Achievement Award and an Exceptional Performance Award. She retired in 1973.[7]

Mouton had three children and was married twice, first to Wardell Roy and later to Webster Mouton. She died in Silver Spring, Maryland on June 25, 1990 of a brain tumor when only 61.[7][8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Goddard General Orbit Determination System" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  2. ^ "Human Computer". NASA. Retrieved 2013-10-22. 
  3. ^ "Melba Roy Mouton" (PDF). Chandra X-Ray Observatory. NASA. Retrieved 16 April 2017. 
  4. ^ "EXPERIMENTAL USE OF A PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE (APL) AT THE GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER" (PDF). November 1968. Retrieved 2016-11-01 – via NASA. 
  5. ^ "Automated Methods of Computer Program Documentation" (PDF). NASA. November 1970. Retrieved 2016-11-01. 
  6. ^ "NASA Yes! We are Involved: A Diversified Team can get the Job Done". Afro American. 1972-04-15. Retrieved 2016-11-01. 
  7. ^ a b "Melba Roy Mouton". The Washington Post. June 29, 1990. 
  8. ^ "Reference to obituary".