Would the 'Hidden Figures' Leading Ladies Go to Space? (Video)

"Hidden Figures" leads Taraji Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe
"Hidden Figures" leads Taraji Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe talked spaceflight in an interview with Space.com. (Image credit: Space.com)

Just in time for the Oscars, the three leads of "Hidden Figures" share their take on futuristic forms of spaceflight and whether they'd want to make an out-of-this-world journey.

"Hidden Figures" is in the running for three Academy Awards this Sunday (Feb. 26): Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Octavia Spencer, who played programmer and "computer" Dorothy Vaughan in the movie. The film follows three African American women integral to NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia as it prepared to launch humans into orbit for the first time.

Space.com talked with the movie's cast and director about the challenges of making the film and how they prepared to depict characters from 1960s America. But this clip of Spencer, Taraji Henson and Janelle Monáe talking about spaceflight didn't make it into the original video.

When asked whether she'd go to space, Monáe, who plays aspiring engineer Mary Jackson, had a simple response: "Yes," she said immediately.

Henson, who plays mathematician Katherine Johnson, would consider it "when they come up with a private jet, first class."

Spencer would be good to go once "we jump through wormholes within like 20 minutes."

The trio also said they'd be willing to go to space via a "Star Trek-esque" "beam-me-up" system — but only if they were guaranteed to be beamed up in one piece. And like John Glenn's flight, for which their characters calculate trajectories in "Hidden Figures," they'd have to have a clear path back home.

Watch the clip online here.

Email Sarah Lewin at slewin@space.com or follow her @SarahExplains. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com

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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.