In 1961 Virginia, three black women work at NASA as “computers,” doing math by hand given that they’re all fairly smart and educated. One by one, they work their way up the ranks of the space program.
- Katherine Goble (Taraji P. Henson), a math genius, ends up calculating the math for John Glenn’s spaceflight, which is the first time an American has ever orbited the Earth.
- Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) studies FORTRAN programming and becomes a computer programmer.
- Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) goes to court to be granted permission to study engineering, which has been off-limits to colored women in the area, and eventually becomes an engineer.