She helped put a man on the moon. Now Katherine Johnson is getting her own movie.

Taraji P. Henson stars as space scientist Katherine Johnson.

Mathematician and NASA scientist Katherine Johnson isn't exactly a household name, but that may soon change.

Johnson, best known for her role calculating the trajectories for NASA's Mercury and Apollo missions by hand — including the moon landing — is one of the greatest American minds of all time.

And to think you may not have ever even heard about her.


Katherine Johnson. Photo by NASA.

Johnson's space science career began in 1953 at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA, NASA's predecessor) at Langley Research Center's Guidance and Navigation Department. Johnson's title: computer. (Seriously, before computers were computers, really super-smart people like Johnson were computers.) Neat, right?

Now 97, Johnson is finally getting some much-deserved credit for her work, including an upcoming movie based on her life.

In 2015, President Obama awarded Johnson the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.

Photo by NASA/Bill Ingalls.

And more than 10,000 people have signed on in support of making a "Women of NASA" Lego set featuring Johnson, Sally Ride, Mae Jemison, Margaret Hamilton, and Nancy Roman.

But the biggest boost to Johnson's name recognition is likely to come from "Hidden Figures," a movie starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe as Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn, and Mary Jackson, respectively. The film is based on the book of the same name, written by Margot Lee Shetterly.

Representation matters. History books can only tell part of the story, and they often leave out important characters.

Though jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are some of the fastest-growing career paths in the U.S., women make up just 14% of engineers nationwide.

While a single movie highlighting the lives of women of color working in a STEM field isn't likely to eliminate the representation gap, girls around the country will at least be made aware that yes, they can be mathematicians or engineers or scientists if they want to. At the very least, "Hidden Figures" might finally make Katherine Johnson the household name she always should have been.

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Putting your pet in cargo during a flight isn't always safe. In 2016, the Department of Transportation reported a total of 26 pet deaths and 22 injuries on flights. Because conditions in cargo can be uncomfortable for animals, the Humane Society recommends taking your pet aboard when you fly, or just leaving it at home.

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Russian airline Aeroflot allows pets to fly inside the plane's cabin, as long as the cat weighs under 17.6 pounds and stays in its carrier during the flight. When Mikhail Galin went to check in, he was told he couldn't fly with his four-year old cat, Viktor. Viktor weighed in at 22 pounds and would have to be relegated to cargo.

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Ask almost any woman about a time a man said or did something sexually inappropriate to them, and she'll have a story or four to tell. According to a survey NPR published last year, 81% of women report having experienced sexual harassment, with verbal harassment being the most common. (By contrast, 43% of men report being sexually harassed. Naturally harassment toward anyone of any sex or gender is not okay, but women have been putting up with this ish unchecked for centuries.)

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