Kitty Hawk. Apollo 11. Van Horn. West Texas town etches name in aviation history

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 12:21 PM CDT
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VAN HORN, Texas (KOSA) - The past couple of weeks have changed the narrative around Van Horn, Texas.

Tuesday was a historic day in West Texas. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and three other astronauts made their way up into space. It was a big event that could mean bigger things for the small town.

“All you hear about Van Horn is it’s just a small little town on the way to El Paso, but it’s going to put them on the map,” said Johnny Prado, who was waiting to watch the launch.

Van Horn. It’s the name of a town that conjures up nothing in the minds of most Americans, but that might be changing.

“If you tell people you live in Van Horn, they have to find it on a map, and it’s just a tourist town,” said Danielle Thomas, a Van Horn native.

It’s a town not all that different from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, a place the Wright Brothers made famous with the first power-controlled airplane flight. It’s not far-fetched to wonder if Blue Origin and Jeff Bezos will do the same for Van Horn.

“You know where Van Horn is? Oh, yeah, that’s the place where the first tourist space shuttle went into space,” said Prado.

The flight took place 52 years to the day of another famous space event: The Apollo 11 lunar landing.

Now, with its name plastered all over America, and its meaning etched in history, like the New Shepard, Van Horn has nowhere to go but up.

“It’s about time Van Horn got on the map for other reasons,” said Thomas.

On the map, and in the history books.

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