Blue Origin brings space exploration back to Texas

Texas plateTexas’ 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.

Watch that space.

Goddard in flight

Tip of the old scrub brush to Futuresheet.

3 Responses to Blue Origin brings space exploration back to Texas

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    Ms. Jamerson,

    Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub has no connection with Mr. Bezos nor with Blue Origin. You’ll have to contact Blue Origin directly.

    Here’s Blue Origin’s website:

    Worse for you, I understand he already has 165,000 acres near Van Horn:

    Good luck on selling your land.


  2. Wilma Jamerson says:

    We own 40 acres of undeveloped land at Sunset Ranches in El Paso (Fabains) Texas and would like to sell. Would Blue Origin be interested in purchasing the 2 – 20 acres lots. Thank you for your prompt reply.


  3. Bruce H. says:

    A small correction: there is no Houston Space Center. Its proper name is the Johnson Space Center and is named for former president Lyndon Baines Johnson.

    NASA has an official history available for download as a series of PDF files: Suddenly Tomorrow Came… A History of the Johnson Space Center.

    It’s not a bad read.


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