Bridenstine said in his statement, "We will never forget her courage and leadership and the milestones we could not have reached without her".
Johnson, who was initially rejected by NASA when she first applied, was tasked by Glenn to check the computer's work by redoing all the math done by a computer that had been programmed with the orbital equations that would control the trajectory of the capsule in Glenn's Friendship 7 mission.
Ms. Johnson and her black colleagues at the fledgling NASA were known as "computers" when that term was used not for a programmed electronic device but for a person who did computations. She wrote: "Thank you, queen, Katherine Johnson, for sharing your intelligence, poise, grace and beauty with the world!"More news: Iran sentences French academic Fariba Adelkhah to 6 years jail
Born in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia in 1918, Katherine Johnson attended high school on the historically black West Virginia State College campus at the tender age of just 13-years-old.
On Monday, Shetterly told the Associated Press Johnson's story shone "a light on the stories of so many other people" and provided "a new way to look at black history, women's history and American history".
The pivotal roles of Johnson and other African-American women at NASA were highlighted in the 2016 film "Hidden Figures". "My dad taught us, 'You are as good as anybody in this town, but you're no better.' I don't have a feeling of inferiority".More news: The RuPaul’s Drag Race season 12 finale will feature virtual lip-syncing
With the help of Katherine Johnson's calculations, Apollo 11 was the first spaceflight that landed humans on the moon under the crew led by Commander Niel Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin in July 20, 1969.
Johnson worked at Langley for 33 years, retiring in 1986. Her life and work is documented in Margot Lee Shetterly's book Hidden Figures and brought before a worldwide audience by Theodore Melfi's film of the same name, both released in 2016.
In a statement, the United States space agency said: "Today, we celebrate her 101 years of life and honor her legacy of excellence that broke down racial and social barriers". "If we go back to the moon, or to Mars, we'll be using her math", Bill Barry, NASA's chief historian, said in a 2017 interview with the Washington Post. "But by the end of her life, she had become a hero to millions-including Michelle and me".
Former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton also paid tribute to Ms Johnson on Twitter. Shepard was the first American in space and Glenn was the first American in Orbit.More news: Bishops call for end to surrogacy as pandemic strands newborns in Ukraine
She considered her work on the Apollo moon missions to be her greatest contribution to space exploration, and in a 2008 interview told Nasa there had been little time to worry about the issues common in her era, such as misogyny and racism. Your legacy will live on forever and ever.