Katherine Johnson, a Human Computer, Calculated Trajectories for Astronauts

NASA mathematician played a vital behind-the-scenes role, depicted in the movie ‘Hidden Figures’

Singer-actress Janelle Monáe and director Ted Melfi stop by the WSJ Cafe to talk about their new film ‘Hidden Figures,’ a fact-based historical drama about the black female mathematicians and engineers who helped NASA win the space race. Photo: 20th Century Fox. (Originally published Dec. 19, 2016)

She was a human computer and the invisible woman of the space race. Katherine Johnson’s work as a mathematician at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for 33 years was vital but unknown to the public until decades later.

2020欧洲杯APPHer story finally reached a wide audience in “Hidden Figures,” a 2016 movie based on a book by Margot Lee Shetterly.

After...