'Hidden Figures' Movie Probes Little-Known Heros of 1960s NASA

Coming Soon

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"Hidden Figures," scheduled to release Dec. 25, follows three black women whose work was crucial to the early space program at NASA's Langley Research Center. Watch the trailer and read more about the film here.


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"Hidden Figures" transformed a disused hospital in Atlanta into NASA Langley in 1961, a nerve center of America's early space program.

NASA Greats

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Katherine G. Johnson, played by Taraji P. Henson, is joined by her co-workers Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) as she greets astronaut John Glenn (Glen Powell), the man destined to become the first American to orbit Earth.

Getting Down

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Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe, left), Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) and Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) celebrate during a scene from the film.

Inspiring the Future

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Taraji P. Henson stars as Katherine Johnson, a NASA mathematician crucial to the early days of spaceflight (and beyond).

True History

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In "Hidden Figures," Janelle Monáe portrays Mary Jackson, who became one of the first female engineers at NASA Langley.

Uncovering the Hidden

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Kevin Costner — who plays Al Harrison, an amalgam of three heads of NASA Langley — poses in the meticulously recreated mission control on the set of "Hidden Figures."

Offering Assistance

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Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) offers help to NASA mission specialist Karl Zielinski (Olek Krupa) in a shot from "Hidden Figures."

Real Life

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Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) are the focal points of "Hidden Figures," which chronicles the little-known black female mathematicians, known as "computers" at the time, whose work was crucial to the first American orbiting the Earth.

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Sarah Lewin
Associate Editor

Sarah Lewin started writing for Space.com in June of 2015 as a Staff Writer and became Associate Editor in 2019 . Her work has been featured by Scientific American, IEEE Spectrum, Quanta Magazine, Wired, The Scientist, Science Friday and WGBH's Inside NOVA. Sarah has an MA from NYU's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program and an AB in mathematics from Brown University. When not writing, reading or thinking about space, Sarah enjoys musical theatre and mathematical papercraft. She is currently Assistant News Editor at Scientific American. You can follow her on Twitter @SarahExplains.