17

In Hidden Figures when John Glenn's rocket was about to be launched into space there was some uncertainty regarding the calculation results provided by IBM 7090. Al Harrison was discussing this with the astronaut:

AL HARRISON (ON PHONE)

The IBM has been spot on up to this point, John, but we’ll run it again, see what it comes up with.

JOHN GLENN ON THE PHONE AT THE CAPE

To be honest with you, Al...when I fly, I fly the machine and now I feel like the machines are flying me.

AL HARRISON

We’re on the same page. We’re staying on the ground until this works out our way. Stay tuned.

JOHN GLENN

Let’s get the girl to check the numbers.

AL HARRISON

The girl?

JOHN GLENN

Yes, sir. The smart one. If she says they’re good, I’m ready to go.

I'm curious if Glenn asking specifically for Katherine G. Johnson is a historical fact. The movie is based on a non-fiction book of the same name, I'm wondering if this event is described there or in any other source.

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From IMDB.com trivia section:

While John Glenn did specifically request that Katherine Johnson review all of the numbers for the Friendship 7 mission before he would agree to go through with it, he did so weeks before the mission actually took place, not when the countdown to launch was nearing at Cape Canaveral.

  • Amazing to think that he actually asked for her specifically. – Hashim Jan 30 at 7:36

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