87-year-old mathematician whose calculations helped create GPS inducted into Air Force Pioneers Hall of Fame

87-year-old mathematician whose calculations helped create GPS inducted into Air Force Pioneers Hall of Fame
Dr. Gladys West is inducted into the Air Force Space and Missile Pioneers Hall of Fame during a ceremony in her honor at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., Dec. 6, 2018. West was among the so-called "Hidden Figures" part of the team who did computing for the U.S. military in the era before electronic systems. The Air Force Space and Missile Pioneers Hall of Fame is one of Air Force's Space Commands Highest Honors. (Source: Adrian Cadiz)

PETERSON AFB, CO (KPLC) - An 87-year-old doctor whose programming of accurate earth models led to the current GPS system has been inducted into the Air Force Space and Missile Pioneers Hall of Fame.

Dr. Gladys West was presented with the Air Force Space and Missile Pioneers award for her decades of contributions to the Air Force’s space program.

West was one of only a few women who participated in computing for the U.S. Military in an era before electronic systems. She is also credited for programming calculations that ultimately became GPS.

The mathematician worked on accounting for variations in gravitational, tidal, and other forces that distort Earth’s shape in the 1970s and 1980s. She was also involved in astronomical studies that won awards and changed the way we explore space. West was among the so-called “Hidden Figures” part of the team who did computing for the U.S. military.

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