October Sky

by Homer Hickam

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Where did Homer test his new propellants in October Sky?

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Homer put together most of the parts and particularly all of the fuels for his rockets in the basement of his home.  His mother was always helpful with the tools and utensils from the kitchen he needed, though she usually asked him to purchase replacements after he ruined something.

Down in the basement he has easy access to the water heater, with its constant flame.  Of course this is a great place to toss in samples of each propellant to see the results.  It is only after testing the first batch of zinc sulfide with the moonshine mixed in that he basically blows up the water heater and has to find a new place to test propellants.

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