“I said if they let me in the door I will open it so wide they will see the world,” says Nichelle Nichols in a new trailer for “Woman in Motion: Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek and the Remaking of NASA.” Best known for her role as Lieutenant Nyota Uhura in “Star Trek: The Original Series,” Nichols’ preoccupation with space didn’t end when the cameras stopped rolling. She couldn’t help but notice that NASA wasn’t sending anyone who looked like her on missions. “Where are my people?” she recalls asking. “Woman in Motion” explores how Nichols went on to change NASA’s space program forever.
Determined to shake up NASA’s predominantly white old boys’ club, Nichols “embarked on a campaign to bring diversity to NASA,” the film’s synopsis details. She formed the company Women In Motion, Inc. and “recruited more than 8,000 African American, Asian, and Latino women and men for the agency. Nichelle and her program continue to influence the younger generation of astronauts as well, including Mae Jemison, the first female African American astronaut in space.”
“I will bring you so many qualified people,” Nichols told the federal agency. “The world will never be the same again.”
Nichols made her debut as Uhura in 1966 on “Star Trek: The Original Series.” She went on to reprise the role numerous times over the following decades in “Star Trek” films, video games, and in “Star Trek: The Animated Series.” Her other credits include “Batman: The Animated Series,” “Heroes,” and “The Young and the Restless.”
“Woman in Motion: Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek and the Remaking of NASA” hits movie theaters nationwide for one night only February 2.