NASA pioneer, Hampton resident Katherine Johnson makes appearance at Oscars

NASA pioneer, Hampton resident Katherine Johnson makes appearance at Oscars”

The Oscar-nominated film "Hidden Figures" highlights the black female mathematicians at NASA who's brain power helped launch the first Americans into space.

Hampton resident and NASA Langley pioneer Katherine Johnson made an appearance at Sunday night's Academy Awards.

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Katherine Johnson, 98, joined the film's stars Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monáe and Octavia Spencer on stage as they revealed the victor for Best Documentary Feature.

"Movies about the lives of men and women in the history books have always been a staple of storytellers", Monae told the audience. Janelle Monae played Mary Jackson onscreen in the historic biopic "Hidden Figures".

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Although the movie she and her colleagues inspired failed to take the top prize, Johnson's appearance on stage was something NASA was particularly proud of. Recording artist Janelle Monae portrays her in the film.

Johnson, portrayed in the movie "Hidden Figures" by Taraji P Henson, worked for NASA as a research mathematician for more than 30 years, according to the USA space agency's website.

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Physicist Katherine Johnson cracked the calculations to send the Apollo 11 in to space in 1969. She was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama in 2015 in recognition of her work.

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