NASA pioneer, Hampton resident Katherine Johnson makes appearance at Oscars

Oscars 2017: Hidden Figures stars honor Katherine Johnson

Oscars 2017: Hidden Figures stars honor Katherine Johnson

The real-life inspiration behind the Oscar-nominated film "Hidden Figures" was honoured at Sunday's Academy Awards with a standing ovation.

The cast of "Hidden Figures" including Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae and Octavia Spencer were set to present the nominees for Documentary Feature but they also took a moment to honor a special guest. Sometimes the names and deeds of the heroes in those films are known to all.

Amid a troubling political landscape, and beyond the controversial execution of the Best Picture prize at last night's Academy Awards (26 February), NASA's high achievers received some serious recognition over the course of the event.

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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 U.S. space agency's website. Janelle Monae played Mary Jackson onscreen in the historic biopic "Hidden Figures". Her calculations made the journey of Alan Shephard, the first American to go into space, possible.

Johnson was a physicist and mathematician at NASA who calculated trajectories, launch windows and the return paths for many famous space flights in the 1950s and '60s.

As Johnson once said, "Girls are capable of doing everything men are capable of doing".

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