KILLEEN (October 24, 2012)--West Ward Elementary School principal Maureen Adams of Killeen is one of 10 people nationwide chosen to be a part of Citizens in Space, a non-profit program that promotes space and exploration for everyday people.
Adams and the nine others could take a trip into space aboard an XCor Aerospace commercial spacecraft in as little as 18 months.
"It's hard to describe that kind of excitement," Adams said.
This space exploration opportunity is made possible through the United States Rocket Academy, a non-profit organization based in Texas, and private donors.
Students and staff at West Ward Elementary said they're excited for Adams.
"I get to have the first astronaut principal ever, and I can't wait to brag to all my friends," said fifth grader Aishia Sterling.
"For children, it means children in elementary school will sit with teachers and build experiments and have their experiments tested in space," said Terri Carroll of XCor Aerospace.
For students at West Ward Elementary, learning about space is nothing new,
The school has been a NASA-sponsored school for the past 12 years.
Getting a little extra funding and educational resources has allowed Adams and the students opportunities to experiment with science and learn about space together.
"The more I learn with the children, the better I'll be prepared for the trip," said Adams.
"Texas is really going to be transitioning in the near future," said Edward Wright, chairman of the United States Rocket Academy.
Wright said the state will soon have even more opportunities for space research and exploration.
"It will be one-stop shopping, and Texas is going to become the space state" Wright added.
SpaceX, which has already sent two unmanned capsules to the International Space Station, now operates a rocket testing facility in McGregor west of Waco and is considering a site in South Texas for a launch facility.