A Million Miles Away summary and ending explained (2024)

A Million Miles Away is a biographical film based on the true story of Jose Hernandez, who became the first migrant farmworker to travel to space. It is now streaming on Prime Video.

Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers

Plot summary

A Mexican family immigrated to California. Jose Hernandez is a bright child who works on farms across California alongside the rest of his family.

This forces them to keep relocating and Jose never gets to settle at one school. One of his teachers believes he has immense potential.

During a class assignment where students have to draw who they wish to be in the future, Jose draws an astronaut. His teacher tells him that he can do anything he wants.

She tells his family that the constant relocation is adversely affecting the growth of Jose, just like how a tree will never grow strong if it’s uprooted and replanted constantly.

While his father does not agree at first, he understands that his children’s future does not belong in the farms and he decides to stop travelling for work.

Jose grows up to be a talented engineer, but he is quickly shunned by his white colleagues as he is an immigrant. Even the receptionist assumes that he is the janitor and gives him all the keys to the facility.

Jose uses the keys to research and finds a breakthrough that none of his colleagues have figured out, gaining the respect of his boss.

When he goes to buy a truck, he meets Adela, and is quickly smitten by her. He asks to go on date, but she replies that he’ll need to meet her family first.

He agrees, and while it isn’t the smoothest meeting, it all works out and they start dating. They always encourage each other to share their dreams.

Adela wants to be a chef but she bursts out laughing when Jose tells her that his dream is to be an astronaut. When she realises he is serious, she gives him her full support.

Jose’s father never lets him forget the fact that they sold their house just to ensure that he could get the best education possible.

Jose and Adela eventually get married and have kids. However, their bond is tested once more when Adela realises that Jose has been applying for NASA space program, but faced multiple rejections.

Adela is disappointed that Jose could not trust her enough to tell her about it. They sort out the misunderstanding and Adela fully supports him.

She asks him what the successful applicants of the space program had that he did not. He states that they had high-level hobbies such as running and swimming. He also has to deal with his cousin passing away.

He starts training in everything that they knew but he did not. Despite this, he continues to get rejected. He even goes to Siberia and misses the birth of his son.

Adela suggests that he should not mail his application now. What this meant was that she wanted him to deliver it in person.

He does so and despite initial concerns, he ends up getting selected from the program, much to the joy of his family and friends.

A Million Miles Away ending explained in detail:

How does Jose fare in the training program?

Jose starts to train for the program, although it does not turn out to be easy. He keeps lagging behind the rest of the crew.

One of his trainers is Kalpana Chawla, who is famous for being the first woman of Indian origin to travel to space.

Jose finds some level of relatability with her due to his migrant origins. In a talk with Kalpana, she tells him how beautiful the world looks from space, further fuelling his desire to traverse beyond Earth.

What happens to Kalpana Chawla?

During a televised coverage of a mission that includes Kalpana, Jose quickly notices that the rocket will not have a safe landing.

And this turns out to be true. The space shuttle disintegrates as it re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere, killing everyone aboard.

Jose begins to have second thoughts because of this incident. He has his family to worry about and questions whether he should go through with it. But it has always been his dream.

Is Jose selected to be part of the space crew?

After much effort, Jose is finally picked to be part of a space crew. His parents bring him a special surprise; the very same teacher who always believed in him.

The two get emotional as she says she waited 30 years to show him something. It is the drawing he made as a child of his dream to become an astronaut.

Jose’s family watches on as the entire crew boards the space shuttle. It takes off, and Jose looks at space from the shuttle. He has finally achieved his lifelong dream despite the odds.

At the end, a montage of the real Jose Hernandez and his journey are shown to the viewers to celebrate his achievement.

Also Read: Sitting in Bars with Cake review: Tearjerker will win you over

A Million Miles Away summary and ending explained (2024)
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