Homer Hickam has led a remarkable life. Not only is he a #1 New York Times bestselling author and the subject of the wonderful film October Sky, he's a former National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) engineer with international accolades for his work, a scuba instructor who has led expeditions to sunken wrecks, a pilot, an amateur paleontologist, a decorated combat veteran and a renowned inspirational speaker. His books are being studied in over four hundred schools and colleges. And he's not done yet. Homer is a prolific writer who continues to write intriguing page-turners that are eagerly anticipated by his legions of fans.
During his long NASA career, Homer worked in propulsion, spacecraft design and crew training. His specialties at NASA included training individual astronauts on operating science experiments in space and extravehicular activities in space suits. He also trained astronaut crews for many Spacelab and space shuttle missions, including the hubble Space Telescope deployment mission, the first two hubble repair missions, Spacelab-J (he trained the first Japanese astronauts) and the Solar Max repair mission. Prior to his retirement from NASA in 1998, Homer was the payload training manager for the International Space Station Program.
Homer is the recipient of many awards and citations, including the Bronze Star and Army Commendation medals for his service in Vietnam, the coveted Silver Snoopy award for support of the astronauts, the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Director's Commendation Award, the Alabama Distinguished Service Award for Heroism (for the attempted rescue of the passengers and crew in a paddleboat sinking), the Distinguished West Virginian Award, the Distinguished Virginia Tech Alumni Award, the National Space Club Media Award, and many, many more. He was also honored to be an Olympic Torch runner for the Atlanta Olympics. His book Rocket Boys was named by the New York Times as one of the Notable Books of 1998 as well as being nominated by the distinguished National Book Critics Circle for best biography of that year. All of his books have been national bestsellers.
Homer is married to Linda Terry Hickam, an artist and his first editor and assistant. They have four cats and live on a beautiful north Alabama mountain.