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NASA honors Hidden Figures by renaming street

The street name pays tribute to NASA mathematicians Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson.

"Hidden Figures Way" Dedication

The street in front of the NASA Headquarters building will be known as Hidden Figures Way.

NASA/Joel Kowsky

NASA headquarters in Washington, DC, now rests on Hidden Figures Way. The street was renamed Wednesday in honor of Katherine Johnson, the late Dorothy Vaughan and the late Mary Jackson, three women who helped put astronaut John Glenn in orbit by calculating his flight trajectory by hand. 

Hidden Figures is the name of Margot Lee Shetterly's book on the subject, as well as a movie. Both the book and movie tell the story of not only the work the women did, but also the challenges that black women faced at NASA in the 1960s.

"Here we are, 50 years after the landing of the Apollo 11 Moon lander, celebrating those figures who were, at the time, not celebrated," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said at the ceremony.

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The families of the three women attended Wednesday's event. The name change came about through a bill in Congress, introduced last August.