There are stories in the vast world of movies that make us laugh and think or feel something potent. “A Million Miles Away” brings a story like this to life. Alejandra Márquez Abella, a talented Mexican filmmaker known for her work, directed and co-wrote this excellent cinema. It is not just an ordinary movie; it is a story that stays in the hearts of those who see it.
What is the movie about?
The most important part of “A Million Miles Away” is the amazing story of José Hernández, a young boy who was born into a family of farmworkers who moved around a lot. Jose’s childhood was far from being luxurious. He worked hard and came from a poor family. But in the middle of all the problems and difficulties, he had a dream that seemed as far away as the stars. José could only speak Spanish until he was 12 years old and wasn’t too interested in school, but he had a drive that would soon lead him to the stars.
The movie is based on astronaut José Hernández’s life and shows how he never gave up on his dreams and worked hard to achieve them. It shows that the human spirit can beat all odds and, quite literally, reach for the stars. José’s life is shown as a roller coaster ride of problems and victories in the movie. It is an inspiring story of a migrant farmworker who became an astronaut.
Is ‘A Million Miles Away’ based on a true story?
When we hear such amazing stories, the first question that comes to mind is whether or not they are true. In the case of “A Million Miles Away,” the answer is a clear “yes.” The book “Reaching for the Stars: The Inspiring Story of a Migrant Farmworker Turned Astronaut,” which José Hernández wrote, was the inspiration for the movie. This memoir, which came out in 2012, is a detailed account of José’s life and the amazing journey that took him to the edge of space.
José Hernández is not a made-up figure. He is a real-life example of how hard work and ambition can pay off. The movie stays true to the real story of José by following his steps from his early days of hard farm work to his graduation from Stockton, California’s Franklin High School. A caring teacher stepped in and convinced José’s parents to give him a safe education.
This was a turning point in José’s life. The choice would change his life in ways he never could have dreamed. José kept going against the predestined fate. Just two years later, he got his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of the Pacific. Later, he went to the University of California to get a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering.
When did José M. Hernández become an astronaut?
José’s dream of becoming an astronaut was not an easily attainable one. He set his sights on NASA, applying to their training program to secure a place among the stars. However, his initial application was met with rejection. But José Hernández was not one to be affected by setbacks. Undeterred by failure, he persevered, applying time and again, a total of twelve attempts, before achieving his dream. On August 28, 2009, José Hernández made history by becoming an astronaut. While orbiting our planet, he communicated with the world through tweets, making him the first person to use the Spanish language in space—an achievement that further solidified his status as an inspiration to countless individuals worldwide.
The path to becoming an astronaut was anything but straightforward for José Hernández. The movie touchingly portrays him holding onto every rejection letter, a testament to the resilience that defines his character. José became a certified scuba diver, obtained a pilot’s license, and even mastered the Russian language to bolster his application and increase his chances of reaching the stars. Finally, on August 29, 2009, José Hernández embarked on the journey of a lifetime. He joined the crew of the shuttle Discovery, embarking on a 14-day mission to the International Space Station. This mission transported an impressive seven tons of equipment and supplies to the station, marking a significant contribution to humanity’s exploration of space.
Where is José M. Hernández now?
Today, José Hernández calls Stockton, California, his home. He co-founded an aerospace consulting firm, Tierra Luna, where he continues to significantly impact the industry. As the film aptly notes, José still engages in the humble task of picking grapes with his father. However, there’s a beautiful twist to this narrative now—they cultivate their vineyard, producing and selling their own line of wines under the banner of Tierra Luna Cellars.
Beyond his professional endeavors, José Hernández is a motivational speaker, sharing his incredible journey and inspiring others to reach for their dreams. As you are reading this, he and his wife are starting the exciting venture of building a new home. It’s where they plan to spend their well-deserved retirement.
Is ‘A Million Miles Away’ available to stream on Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, or Prime Video?
A Million Miles Away is exclusively streaming on Prime Video. You cannot watch it on other platforms like Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, or Hulu.