In 2004, Amazon.com’s founder purchased Far West Texas’s 165,000-acre CORN RANCH, a desolate stretch of arid rangeland north of Van Horn in Culberson County. Since then, Bezos has made a series of acquisitions that has resulted in the assemblage of a block of 420,000 acres that the world has come to know as the launching pad for Blue Origin, Bezos’s suborbital spaceflight-services company (above). Since 2012, the New Shepard rocket has had 22 successful consecutive missions. Three of those missions included successful escape tests. In addition to Bezos and his brother, passengers have included Star Trek icon William Shatner and Good Morning America anchor Michael Strahan.