Mary G. Ross, an aerospace engineer, became the first Native American female engineer in Lockheed Martin. Throughout her education, she took pride and ownership as a Cherokee Indian. As a student, she strayed away from Cherokee tradition and vouched for equal education for both boys and girls. After pursuing a mathematics degree at Northeastern State Teachers College, she was elected one of the first employees of 40 candidates to create the Missiles System Division in 1954. Similarly, Ross became an integral part of the Apollo program, the Polaris reentry vehicle, and interplanetary space probes. In addition to Ross’ contributions, she was also the founding member of Lockheed’s secret “Skunk Works,” where she dedicated her time to helping others explore space.

Learn more at nps.gov