Texas’ regular license plate features a Space Shuttle, some stars and a crescent Moon, but a lot of Texas 8th graders are foggy on just why. I hope kids living near Houston have a better idea, since the
Houston Johnson Space Center is in their area. To most kids under the age of 20 in Texas, space exploration is not a part of Texas history. I had one student in class ask why it was that in the movie version of the Apollo 13 story, the astronauts said “Houston, we have a problem.”
The drive to get a private spacecraft into commercial use has at least one company using Texas as a base. Space exploration may once again become a current event item in Texas social studies classes.
Jeff Bezos’ company, Blue Origin, tested their space craft in November, and the tardy news is bustling around the internet — and present in print and broadcast media, too. That the story is so hot on the internet should be a cue to mass media that it’s time to start paying attention.
The company’s test site is in Culberson County, in far west Texas — far away from the giant media markets in San Antonio, Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth. El Paso is the closest major market, and it’s in a different time zone from the rest of the state.
This space exploration group reverses NASA’s Houston-to-Cape Canaveral style of operations — Blue Origin is headquartered in Kent, Washington, closer to Bezos’ Amazon roots.
Blue Origin is hiring engineers, by the way.
Tip of the old scrub brush to Futuresheet.