Woman in Motion: Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek, and the Remaking of NASA, the documentary that takes a look at Nichelle Nichols and the groundbreaking work she did to promote diversity in NASA, will debut on Paramount+ on June 3. Previously released as a one day only event, now subscribers to the streaming channel will get to see the full-length documentary.
While many fans remember Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Uhura, the communications director aboard the Enterprise during Star Trek: The Original Series’ original run and subsequent movies, many more people remember her efforts to open the NASA recruiting program to people of color and women. Nichols recruited more than 8,000 African-American, Asian, and Latino women and men to work at NASA. Some of those recruits included Guion Bluford (the first African-American astronaut), Sally Ride (the first female American astronaut), Judith Resnik (one of the original set of female astronauts), and Ronald McNair (the second African-American astronaut.)
Though she has retired from working with NASA, Nichols’ program still continues to influence more generations of astronauts to this day, including Mae Jemison, the first female African American astronaut in space. Jemison, who is an avid fan of Star Trek, appeared as Lieutenant Palmer in the 1993 episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, becoming the first real-life astronaut to appear on Star Trek.
Nichols fought against a bureaucracy that didn’t want to let her get involved at first. She didn’t give up, and NASA credits her for turning the agency into one of the most diverse independent agencies in the United States Federal Government. The press release follows:
Woman in Motion with Nichelle Nichols press release
Premiere Date for the Upcoming Feature-Length Documentary Was Revealed by Mica Burton During Paramount+’s Virtual First Contact Day Panels
April 5, 2021 – Paramount+ today announced the feature-length documentary WOMAN IN MOTION: NICHELLE NICHOLS, STAR TREK AND THE REMAKING OF NASA, will be available to stream exclusively on the service starting on Thursday, June 3. WOMAN IN MOTION features the remarkable and inspiring true story of how renowned “Star Trek” actress Nichelle Nichols pioneered the NASA recruiting program to hire people of color and the first female astronauts for the space agency in the late 1970s and 1980s. The news was revealed by Mica Burton, moderator of the “Women In Motion” panel, during today’s virtual global First Contact Day celebration. The official trailer for WOMAN IN MOTION was also shown during the panel.
The free First Contact Day virtual panels will be available to view on-demand on Paramount+’s YouTube Channel and on Paramount+ in the U.S., following their initial airing on StarTrek.com/FirstContact today from 12:00-2:45 PM, PT/3:00-5:45 PM, ET.
Directed by Todd Thompson (“The Highwaymen,” “PRE FAB!”), WOMAN IN MOTION chronicles how Nichols transformed her sci-fi television stardom into a real-life science career when, in 1977, she embarked on a campaign to bring diversity to NASA. Nichols formed the company Women In Motion, Inc. and recruited more than 8,000 African American, Asian and Latino women and men for the agency. Nichols and her program continue to influence the younger generation of astronauts as well, including Mae Jemison, the first female African American astronaut in space. Despite an uphill battle against a bureaucracy that was hesitant to let her get involved, Nichols persevered and is credited by NASA for turning it into one of the most diverse independent agencies in the United States Federal Government.
In addition to Nichols, WOMAN IN MOTION features notable celebrities, activists, scientists and astronauts including Neil deGrasse Tyson, George Takei, Pharrell Williams, Martin Luther King III, Al Sharpton, Vivica A. Fox, Water Koenig, Rod Roddenberry, Michael Dorn, Guy Bluford, Charles Bolden, Ivor Dawson, Frederik Gregory and Benjamin Crump.