The true story of Homer Hickam, a coal miner's son who was inspired by the first Sputnik launch to take up rocketry against his father's wishes.
- Joe Johnston
- Homer H. Hickam Jr.
- Universal Pictures
Based on fact, this is the story of a teenager named Homer Hickam, growing up in a coal town in West Virginia where a boy's usual destiny was to "end up in the mines." But Homer had his eye on the sky and a love for flying rockets... to the dismay of his mine-foreman father, and the consternation of the townsfolk generally. A misfit for sure, he and three of his equally outcast buddies begin making rockets, which they fly from a patch of barren land eight miles out of town... so as to no longer terrorize the community with their oft-times errant rockets. However, the people become intrigued and soon start coming out in droves to watch the 'Rocketboys' send off their homemade missiles, and with the enthusiastic support of Miss Riley, their teacher, plus a signed picture from Wernher von Braun in response to a question Homer had written him, they finally are entered in the National Science Awards competition. But none of this was all that easy, especially for Homer, as problems much more dire than flying rockets seemed to push the young man toward maturity, as well as to his eventual destiny... as an instructor of our shuttle mission astronauts.