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It's 1957 in Coalwood, West Virginia and while most of the town mines the earth, young Homer Hickman dreams of only the sky. Inspired by the dawn of the space age and the historic launching of the Soviet satellite Sputnik, Homer enlists his two best buddies as well as the school's resident math geek to help him design and launch space rockets. After a series of disastrous crash landings, in particular one that sends an entire coal mine full of workers running for cover, Homer's father demands that his son get serious about his future and abandon his silly science projects. However Homer's potential is limitless and when he starts winning science fairs and scholarships he's on a non-stop journey straight to the stars.