Through out the movie October Sky the Rocket Boys faced many obstacles that they didn't always pass through quickly. But in the end they overcame those and proved to be successful. Through these unsuccessful and successful events the Rocket Boys challenged themselves and the people around them to believe in the unbelievable. If everyone thought they were to grow up to be miners like everyone else in the town of Coalwood, then they certainly proved them wrong.
One thing that they faced that was unsuccessful was the launching of their first rocket. In launching their first rocket all that happened was they blew up a section of Homer's fence. Many people would have just given up there, figuring they'd caused enough trouble and were unlikely to make one fly anyways. But not Homer. He sought out a fellow classmate, Quentin, who knew about rockets for help.
With Quentin's help the boys were able to make a rocket that flew, but this brings us to another down point.
Whilst the rocket flew, it flew right through the mine, thoroughly upsetting Homer's father, and causing the boys to be banned from launching rockets on company ground. This may not seem like a big deal, except for the fact that the company owned the entire town that they lived in. So from then on the boys had to go 8 miles, out of town to launch anymore rockets.
One day the boys were arrested for starting a fire in Welch with their rockets. Once again many would have given up at this point. Said that it was fun while it lasted. For a while they did too. Homer's dad got hurt not long after the arrest, and Homer dropped out of school to go work in the mine...