Technology: NASA honors 'hidden figures' who helped John Glenn orbit the Earth - PressFrom - US
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TechnologyNASA honors 'hidden figures' who helped John Glenn orbit the Earth

12:02  13 june  2019
12:02  13 june  2019 Source:   abcnews.go.com

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A new film, Hidden Figures , tells the story of the maths wizards who Nasa relied on.

Director Ted Melfi, whose new movie " Hidden Figures " concerns the NASA mathematicians who helped John Glenn become the first American to orbit the Earth

NASA honors 'hidden figures' who helped John Glenn orbit the Earth© Joel Kowsky/NASA A covered street sign is seen outside of the NASA Headquarters building the day before a street renaming ceremony, June 11, 2019, in Washington, D.C.

NASA honored the three "hidden figures" who helped pave the way for the first American astronaut to successfully orbit the Earth by renaming the street in front of NASA's Washington headquarters Hidden Figures Way.

The three African American women were featured in the 2016 movie "Hidden Figures," starring Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monáe and Octavia Spencer. The film details the true story of Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan, who faced discrimination, racism and segregation but were vital in preparing astronaut John Glenn's orbital mission.

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John Glenn , depicted in Hidden Figures as a space trailblazer who also gave critical support to pioneering black women at NASA who helped him orbit the earth , was fondly remembered by the cast at the movie's premiere. He's a hero.

Director Ted Melfi, whose new movie " Hidden Figures " concerns the NASA mathematicians who helped John Glenn become the first American to orbit the Earth , talks about Glenn 's passing. Photo: Getty.

The three women were mathematical masterminds who helped make history.

NASA honors 'hidden figures' who helped John Glenn orbit the Earth© Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi poses for a photograph during an event honoring NASA's 'Hidden Figures,' African-American women mathematicians who helped the United States' space program in Statuary Hall at the Capitol, March 27, 2019.

According to NASA, Glenn didn't put too much faith into electronic computers, and, instead, he would ask engineers to "get the girl," referring to Johnson, to run the same numbers through the same equations that had been programmed into the computer by hand.

In December 2018, the D.C. Council unanimously voted to honor the "hidden figure" scientists and rename the 300 block of E Street, Southwest, according to ABC Washington affiliate WJLA.

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Send a man to orbit Earth , observe his reactions and return him home safely. The pilot of this historic flight, John Glenn , became a national hero and a symbol of American ambition.

* Hidden Figures *focuses on the story of Katherine Johnson, who painstakingly re-confirmed thousands of calculations made by then-brand-new IBM computers—many of them to eight significant digits—in order to correctly predict Glenn ’s landing. But Barry, ever the historian, sees the true hero

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine was joined by Sen. Ted Cruz, D-Texas, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and author Margot Lee, who wrote the book "Hidden Figures: The Untold True Story of Four African American Women who Helped Launch Our Nation Into Space," to rename E Street SW.

"It's about how human computers -- these female mathematicians -- were doing the heavy lifting in aeronautical research, and it's about how women of all backgrounds prove that not only are women good at math, sometimes they're the best at math," Lee said.

Johnson, 100, is the last surviving of the three.

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