Special Guests at October Sky Festival

Astronaut Thomas Jones and the mother of a schoolteacher who died aboard the Challenger space shuttle will appear this weekend at the annual October Sky Festival.

The event begins 10 a.m. Saturday in Coalwood, the McDowell County town made famous by rocket scientist and author Homer Hickam.

Hickam, who now lives in Alabama, returns for the event every year.

The festival celebrates the three years, 1957 to 1960, when he and his friends launched rockets while in high school. They eventually won a national science fair.

Also returning are the other Rocket Boys: Roy Lee Cooke, Billy Rose and O'Dell Carroll.

Grace Corrigan, mother of Challenger victim Christa McAuliffe, and Dreama Denver, widow of TV star Bob Denver, will also be there.

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