Name: Hidden Figures
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Rating: (7.9 / 10)
Length: 2h 7min
Release Date: 6 January 2017 (USA)
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Watch online Hidden Figures (2016). In 1961, mathematician Katherine Goble works as a “computer” in the segregated West Area Computers division of Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, alongside her colleague, aspiring engineer Mary Jackson and her unofficial supervisor Dorothy Vaughan.
Following a successful Russian satellite launch, pressure to send American astronauts into space increases. White supervisor Mrs Vivian Mitchell assigns Katherine to assist the Space Task Group of Al Harrison due to her skills in analytic geometry. She becomes the first colored woman in the team—and in the building, which has no bathrooms for colored people.
Katherine’s new colleagues are initially dismissive and demeaning, especially head engineer Paul Stafford. Meanwhile, Dorothy’s request to be officially promoted to supervisor is rejected by Mrs Mitchell. Mary identifies a flaw in the experimental space capsule’s heat shields, encouraging her to more assertively pursue an engineering degree.
At a barbecue, Katherine meets National Guard officer Jim Johnson and they are attracted to each other, but she is disappointed when he voices skepticism at women’s mathematical abilities. He later apologizes and they ultimately get married.
Harrison invites his subordinates to solve a complex mathematical equation, and Katherine steps forward, leaving him impressed. The Mercury 7 astronauts visit Langley and astronaut John Glenn is cordial to the West Area Computers.
Over time, Katherine becomes better acquainted with her colleagues. Harrison becomes upset when she is not at her desk and she angrily explains how far she has to walk to use the colored people’s bathroom in another building. Harrison abolishes bathroom segregation, personally knocking down the Colored Bathroom sign. Despite Stafford’s objections, he allows Katherine to be included in their meetings, in which she creates an elaborate equation to guide the space capsule into a safe re-entry. Despite this, Katherine is forced to remove her name from all the reports, which are credited solely to Stafford. Meanwhile, Mary goes to court and convinces the judge to grant her permission to attend night classes in an all-white school to obtain her engineering degree. Free online streaming Hidden Figures (2016). Dorothy learns of the impending installation of an IBM 7090 electronic computer that could replace her co-workers. She visits the computer room and successfully starts the machine. Later, she visits a public library, where the librarian scolds her for visiting the whites-only section, to borrow a book about FORTRAN. While congratulating Dorothy on her work, Mrs Mitchell assures her that she never treated her differently due to the color of her skin; Dorothy is unconvinced. After teaching herself FORTRAN and training her West Area co-workers, she is officially promoted to supervise the Programming Department and the others are transferred there. Mrs Mitchell eventually addresses Dorothy as “Mrs Vaughan”, indicating her new-found respect.
As the final arrangements for John Glenn’s launch are made, Katherine is informed she is no longer needed at Space Task Group and is being reassigned back to West Area Computers. As a wedding and farewell gift from her colleagues, Harrison buys her a pearl necklace, the only jewelry allowed under the dress code.
Prior to the launch, however, discrepancies arise in the IBM 7090 calculations for the capsule’s landing coordinates and Glenn requests that Katherine be called in to check the calculations. Katherine quickly does so and hurriedly delivers the results to the control room, only to have the door slammed in her face. However, Harrison brings her into the control room so they can relay the results to Glenn together.
After a successful launch, the space capsule has a warning light indicating a heat shield problem; mission control decides to land it after three orbits instead of seven. Katherine understands the situation and suggests that they should leave the retro-rocket attached to heat shield for reentry to which Harrison agrees immediately. Their instructions prove correct and Friendship 7 successfully lands in the ocean.
Following the mission, the mathematicians are laid off and ultimately replaced by electronic computers. Katherine is reassigned to the Analysis and Computation Division, Dorothy continues to supervise the Programming Department, and Mary obtains her engineering degree.
An epilogue reveals that Katherine calculated the trajectories for the Apollo 11 and Apollo 13 missions.
In 2015, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and a new 40,000-square-foot Computational Research Facility at the Langley Research Center was renamed the Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility in her honor the following year. Watch Hidden Figures (2016) online.