For day 5 of our Women’s History Month celebration, we recognize: Dr. Christine Darden!
Dr. Christine Darden is one of the world’s leading experts on sonic boom prediction and minimization and supersonic wing design. Darden began her 40-year career at NASA in 1967 as a “human computer” who created complex programs and performed intricate calculations for engineers at NASA’s Langley Research Center. With a master’s in applied mathematics, Darden envisioned more for herself than simply processing data. After performing calculations daily for eight years, Darden finally approached her supervisor to inquire why men, who had the same educational background as her, were being recruited in as engineers. Her confident and bold question led to her supervisor transferring her to the engineering sector, where she became one of few female aerospace engineers at Langley during that time. In 1989, Darden was appointed as the technical leader of NASA’s Sonic Boom Group of the Vehicle Integration Branch of the High Speed Research Program. As the technical leader, Darden was responsible for internal sonic boom research at NASA. In March of 2007, Darden retired with a 40-year legacy of research and study in sonic boom minimization.