A Million Miles Away Ending Explained!

A Million Miles Away, based on a real story, recounts a man's life who sacrificed everything to chase his longtime want of going to space.

Published: September 19th, 2023 3:47 am | Updated: September 19, 2023 3:47 am

Jose Hernandez, the first migrant farmworker to journey to space, is the focus of the biographical film A Million Miles Away.

A Million Miles Away, based on a real story, recounts a man’s life who sacrificed everything to chase his longtime want of going to space. Imagine a little child from a migrant family working in the fields of Mexico who is so impressed by the moon landing in 1969 that he aspires to be an astronaut.

This film is enjoyable for the entire family due to its healthy story-telling tactics. It’s a narrative about aiming for the stars, even if you don’t always succeed.

What inspired Jose to become an astronaut in A Million Miles Away?

A Million Miles Away
The New York Times

The film begins with Hernández’s family leaving Mexico to come to America for jobs and a better life for their kids. We observe as young Hernández wakes early in the morning, goes to school, and grows up gazing at the skies. 

José tried for the space program 11 times before getting accepted, and the film is almost entirely about his situation. José is approved and begins studying to be an astronaut about the middle of the film; these sequences are intriguing and intense.

The story moves away from character and growth of relationships and towards whether he will truly make it into space.

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How does Jose do in the training program?

A Million Miles Away
Hidden Remote

Jose begins training for the program, which proves to be complicated. He needs to catch up to the other members of the group.

Kalpana Chawla, the first woman of Indian culture to journey to space, is one of his teachers.

Because of his migrant background, Jose finds some common ground with her. In a conversation with Kalpana, she tells him how lovely the globe seems from space, fueling his ambition to travel beyond Earth.

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What happened to Kalpana Chawla?

A Million Miles Away
Google Art & Culture

During a television presentation of a mission involving Kalpana, Jose sees that the rocket would not land safely.

And it turns out that this is correct. The space shuttle disintegrates as it re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere, killing everyone on board.

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Is Jose chosen to be a member of the space crew?

A Million Miles Away
USA Today

A space shuttle crashes thirty minutes before the end, killing many of José’s companions. He is then offered a chance to go into space. He seizes the opportunity, stating he’s been waiting for this for thirty years. We see José on the space shuttle after a successful launch.

The film then includes real video of José Hernández from the original trip, small segments interwoven with claims like “he was the very first migrant worker to go to space” and “he still picks with his father” and that he and his wife are building a house for retirement one day.

He spins around the spaceship in one scene, and it’s a humorous, touching way to close the film.