October Sky is a 1999 American biographical drama film directed by Joe Johnston, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, Chris Owen, and Laura Dern. It is based on the true story of Homer H. Hickam, Jr., a coal miner's son who was inspired by the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957 to take up rocketry against his father's wishes and eventually became a NASA engineer.
October Sky is based on the lives of four young men who grew up in Coalwood, West Virginia. Most of the film was shot in rural East Tennessee, including Oliver Springs, Harriman and Kingston in Morgan and Roane counties. The movie received a positive critical reception and is still celebrated in the regions of its setting and filming.