In the early 1960s, Katherine (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy (Octavia Spencer), and Mary (Janelle Monae) are three black women working at NASA, doing their best with unfulfilling roles, struggling to manage the bigotry of the day. With paranoia sweeping the nation after the Russians manage to launch a satellite into orbit, work on manned spaceflight commences, with Al (Kevin Costner), director of the Space Task Group, in charge of protecting the astronauts from the elements, working out the math and science of the mission. Bringing in Katherine to act as a human computer, Al discovers her sheer brilliance with numbers, but the widowed mother of three battles with office prejudice, fighting to be heard as colleagues like Paul (Jim Parsons) work to dismiss her presence in the organization. As time approaches for John Glenn (Glen Powell) to undertake the Friendship 7 mission, pressure is put on all three women to prove their worth as the possibility of space travel becomes a reality.
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