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'Hidden Figures' Women Could Be Awarded Congressional Medal

HAMPTON, Va. (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — The U.S. Senate may award a Congressional Gold Medal to the women portrayed in the 2016 film "Hidden Figures."

The Daily Press is reporting that the award would go to Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, and posthumously to Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan.

Hidden Figures
A man reads "Hidden Figures", by Margot Lee Shetterly. The novel is the true story of Africian American female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of the United State's greatest achievements in space. (credit: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

The African American "human computers" crunched numbers at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton during the early days of the U.S. space program.

The U.S. Senate is considering a bill that would award the medal to the mathematicians. They worked in the pre-computer age, calculating rocket trajectories and earth orbits for the earliest American space flights.

Much attention has been given to Johnson, who will turn 100 on August 26. But Katherine Moore, Johnson's daughter, said she likes to stress that she was part of a team.

For the women to receive the Congressional Gold Medal, the bill must be voted on by a committee, and then by the full Senate and House, before ultimately going to the White House.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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