October Sky

by Homer Hickam

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What happened to Auk 22 in October Sky? What concerned Elsie when Homer returned home?

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The boys are pretty excited about their new zinc-sulfur rockets, and they get the first one, Auk XXII set up on the pad after loading it with powder upside down.  As they get into the shed to ignite the rocket, Homer punches the ignition and the whole thing blows itself to pieces on the pad.  They are worried that they have already gone too far and their tubes can't hold the stress of this more powerful propellant.

But some of that stress is relieved and turned to a new source as they return home to find out that the company is selling the houses.  The fear is that the company is selling them in order to get rid of the houses because they know that soon they will be worthless when the coal is gone.

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