SAN ANTONIO – This is an exciting week for space travel, especially in Texas, but it will have to wait for at least an extra day.
The Blue Origin New Shepard Launch – NS-18 – has been delayed to at least Wednesday morning due to the forecasted weather.
We know 90-year-old William Shatner, who many know as Captain Kirk, is set to be on the rocket. But the launch and the Blue Origin program has also meant so much to the Van Horn community.
“It’s just guys like you and me, that just also happen to be the top rocket scientists in the United States,” Kenneth Baugh, Superintendent of CCAISD said.
Baugh said Blue Origin has been a great community partner with the school district.
“They took us up on platforms so we could look down in the capsules with those big windows in it and can see inside the capsules. Realizing ‘oh wow, they’re walking around’ and seeing these people work. And there, they can see themselves,” Baugh said.
The tours, the mentorship, and the idea of space travel in the community is inspiring local Van Horn students.
“We also did a program design that they came out and worked with our teams of kids. We’ve even started down in fourth grade, but we really were heavy in junior high,” Baugh said.
The collaboration between Blue Origin, the education system and the community also has plans and ideas that are literally out of this world.
“You could file a car postcard and you self-address it, you get it out. You get it on this thing. There’s requirements that you put on that postcard, but it goes to space. They put it in one of their launches. It goes to space. It lands. They come down and certify it and mail it back. And so you’ve received a postcard from space,” Baugh said.
These plans have all been years in the making and it is only the start.
“We’ve written several grants. And they always require industry partners. They (Blue Origin) are industry partners on so many grants I’ve lost count,” Baugh said.