How did Mr. Canton help in October Sky?

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Clinton Caton is a machinist who works with the boys to build the rockets they've designed.

Mr. Caton not only helps but actually improves the boys' designs. First, he lengthened the Auk XIV to make it longer so that the cylinder has more volume so that there's room for more propellent—or rocket candy, as the boys call it. Other machinists also had the opportunity to volunteer, but Mr. Caton was the first one to answer when Homer said that it needed to be longer; he told Mr. Ferro that he'd be glad to do it. The final design took one and a half pots of propellent.

Mr. Caton also countersinks the nozzle at 45 degrees on both ends. He also created a new way to attach the fins to the casement. He reassures Homer that making multiple changes at once is a good idea because if they do them one at a time, then they'll take too much time to find the best design. Then he paints Auk XX on one side of the rocket and BCMA on the other.

Homer agrees with Mr. Caton, but Quentin is upset that multiple changes are happening at the same time. He says that they're ignoring scientific principles, and if they don't test things out, the rocket might fail. They all work together well, though, and Mr. Caton puts a lot of extra unpaid overtime in while he works on the rocket.

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