Melba Roy Mouton
Melba Roy Mouton was born in 1929, and graduated from Howard University in 1950 with a master’s degree in mathematics and a minor in physics.
Mouton began working for NASA in 1959, and she served as Head Mathematician for Echo Satellites 1 and 2. The following year Echo 1 was put into orbit and Mouton lead a team of NASA mathematicians known as “computers” in tracking its orbit. Mouton was also an instructor for a series of seminars on ‘A Programming Language’ held at Watson Research Labs.
In a NASA conference she published a paper about the importance of investing in descriptive program documentation for projects which are to be maintainable over time. She was also featured alongside her African American colleagues in an advertisement in the ‘Afro American’ magazine, designed to spotlight NASA’s diversity.
Mouton received both an Apollo Achievement Award and an Exceptional Performance Award from NASA before she retired in 1973.