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October Sky

by Homer Hickam

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Student Question

Who is Warner Vanbarn in "October Sky?"

Expert Answers

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I assume that you are referring to Wernher Von Braun.  He was played by Joey DiGaetano in the movie "October Sky."

Wernher Von Braun was a real person.  He was one of the leading rocket scientists in the world.  He was born in Germany in 1912 and was, by World War II, one of the main experts on rocketry in Germany.

After the end of World War II, the Americans who were occupying Germany took Von Braun and other scientists out of Germany and sent them to the United States.  A major reason for this is that they didn't want them to fall into the hands of the Russians because that would have helped the Russians develop rockets more quickly.

In the movie, Von Braun congratulates Homer for wining the science fair, but Homer doesn't know who he is until later.

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