In a 1950's mining town called Coalwood, Homer Hickam is a kid with only one future in sight, to work in the local coal mine like his father. However in October 1957, everything changes when the first artificial satellite, Sputnik goes into orbit. With that event, Homer becomes inspired to learn how to build rockets. With his friends and the local nerd, Homer sets to do just that by trial and a lot of error. Unfortunately, most of the town and especially Homer's father thinks that they are wasting their time. Only one teacher in the high school understands their efforts and lets them know that they could become contenders in the national science fair with college scholarships being the prize. Now the gang must learn to perfect their craft and overcome the many problems facing them as they shoot for the stars. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
Although known as Virginia Tech since the early 1990's, at the time the movie takes place, the university was known as VPI. See more »
The boys created a remote ignition device by having a spring-loaded match rub past a match strike stip and then light the fuse. The strike strip they used was the modern "polka dot" kind. In 1957 all the strike strips were solid strips. See more »
[shooting off their last rocket]
Look at it go, Homer. This one's gunna go for miles.
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The real life people portrayed in the movie are shown during the end credits. See more »
I was watching this when my wife called to inquire from the other room as to my choice of fare. My comment? "I am watching my Life!"
Though younger, but only by 5 years or so, than the "Rocket Boys" I remember the absolute urgency with which Sputnick was greeted by our administrators of education and how the whole Science Fair thing gained momentum and took me and others into the competitive whirlwind. My own tornado landed me in my own State's Science Fair, in Physics by '62, though our group was less successful in gaining the support of, for example, firefighters we approached for guidance and counsel until after a tragic event, our city went so far as to allow us to tour the Nike missile site on Chicago's lakeshore.
This movie brought it all back for me and I will bet that it brought it all back for a bunch of us "UberNerds" of the late '50s and early 60's.
We are in a similar science brain drainage period now and really need this movie as a country. See It!
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