“Hidden Figures” Panel Discussion

In the Press Site auditorium at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, members of the media participate in a news conference with key individuals from the upcoming motion picture “Hidden Figures.” From the left are: former CNN space correspondent John Zarrella, serving as moderator; Ted Melfi, writer and director of “Hidden Figures”; Octavia Spencer, who portrays Dorothy Vaughan; Taraji P. Henson, who portrays Katherine Johnson in the film; Janelle Monáe, who portrays Mary Jackson; Pharrell Williams, musician and producer of “Hidden Figures”; and Bill Barry, NASA’s chief historian. The movie is based on the book of the same title, by Margot Lee Shetterly. It chronicles the lives of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, three African-American women who worked for NASA as human “computers.” Their mathematical calculations were crucial to the success of Project Mercury missions including John Glenn’s orbital flight aboard Friendship 7 in 1962. The film is due in theaters in January 2017.

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