The movie “Hidden Figures,” released in Fall 2016, is based on Tom Wolfe’s book “The Right Stuff,” which chronicles America’s race to beat the Soviet Union to put a man into space. The movie takes an in-depth look at a team of black National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) female mathematicians who were the behind the scenes “computers” for the 1962 mission. The central figures in the movie are Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson. Johnson, an extraordinarily gifted mathematician, played a key role in helping John Glenn become the first American to orbit the earth. Vaughan eventually became NASA’s first black manager and was considered one of the agency’s most brilliant minds.






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