NASA Senior Program Executive Willis Jenkins, artist Emily Damstra, and Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint Joe Menna discuss the 2019 Native American $1 Coin. The theme of the coin’s design is American Indians in the Space Program. Native Americans have been on the modern frontier of space flight since the beginning of NASA. Their contributions to the U.S. space program culminated in the space walks of John Herrington (Chickasaw Nation) on the International Space Station in 2002. This and other pioneering achievements date back to the work of Mary Golda Ross (Cherokee Nation). Considered the first Native American engineer in the U.S. space program, Ross helped develop the Agena spacecraft for the Gemini and Apollo space programs.
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