mary-golda-ross

Mary Golda Ross, 1908-2008

Mary Golda Ross, 1908-2008

Mary Golda Ross, 1908-2008
Mary Golda Ross was born in the Ozarks of Oklahoma, a member of the Cherokee Nation and the great-granddaughter of John Ross, Chief of the Cherokee Nation who battled the forced relocation to Oklahoma. From a family long dedicated to leadership and teaching, and from a Nation that believed in educational equality among girls and boys, Mary attended Northeastern State Teachers College. Mary taught science and math during the Great Depression and worked as a statistician in the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In 1942, Lockheed Martin Corporation hired Ross as a mathematician where she helped design the P-38 fighter plane. After the war, it was unusual for a company that hired a woman for work during the war to keep that woman once the war ended. Not only did Ross stay, but Lockheed provided Ross with additional training. Ross became one of 40 engineers at the Lockheed Skunk Works in Palmdale, a super-secret think tank that would become Lockheed Missiles & Space Co. Ross was the only woman and the only Native American at the Skunk Works. She worked on preliminary design concepts for interplanetary space travel, and manned and unmanned earth-orbiting flights that would help land the first humans on the moon in 1969. She was co-author of the NASA Planetary Flight Handbook Vol. III, about space travel to Mars and Venus. Ross is a Hidden Figure in America’s space program.

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  1. Mary Golda Ross, 1908-2008
    Mary Golda Ross was born in the Ozarks of Oklahoma, a member of the Cherokee Nation and the great-granddaughter of John Ross, Chief of the Cherokee Nation who battled the forced relocation to Oklahoma. From a family long dedicated to leadership and teaching, and from a Nation that believed in educational equality among girls and boys, Mary attended Northeastern State Teachers College. Mary taught science and math during the Great Depression and worked as a statistician in the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In 1942, Lockheed Martin Corporation hired Ross as a mathematician where she helped design the P-38 fighter plane. After the war, it was unusual for a company that hired a woman for work during the war to keep that woman once the war ended. Not only did Ross stay, but Lockheed provided Ross with additional training. Ross became one of 40 engineers at the Lockheed Skunk Works in Palmdale, a super-secret think tank that would become Lockheed Missiles & Space Co. Ross was the only woman and the only Native American at the Skunk Works. She worked on preliminary design concepts for interplanetary space travel, and manned and unmanned earth-orbiting flights that would help land the first humans on the moon in 1969. She was co-author of the NASA Planetary Flight Handbook Vol. III, about space travel to Mars and Venus. Ross is a Hidden Figure in America’s space program.

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