Bluebonnet at the Johnson Space Center

Bluebonnet at Johnson Space Center

Bluebonnet at Johnson Space Center

In looking back over 35 years of the Bluebonnet Armadillo Adventure series, MBC remembers that the book about my adventure at Johnson Space Center was certainly one of the most thrilling to research.

The good folks at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Manned Spacecraft Center  were most helpful to MBC, inviting her to tour “behind the scenes.” She climbed up into the space shuttle where astronauts trained, and also saw the giant swimming pool for underwater training (that gave her the idea of using armadillo swimming techniques in the story!) Staff members helped her throughout the writing process with the manuscript to insure that the technical parts of the story were accurate. One even suggested the idea that my armadillo shell be used to study ways of improving astronaut suits in the story!

Space Center Houston, the visitors’ center for the Johnson Space Center, was just being built when MBC did her research, so the book was timely in helping introduce this fabulous facility.  Less than a year after the center opened, MBC and I did a book signing in the gift shop.

The first printing of hardbacks was April, 1993.  The paperback version became available in September, 2002, and is still available at

Some of the highlights of the story:  this was the first book that re-introduced one of my sisters, Normadillo.  In true sisterly form, she teased me about being a “silly dilly” for wanting to become the world’s first “astrodillo.” Normadillo kept tabs on me during my space shuttle flight from Mission Control in Houston. MBC’s Aunt Norma has always claimed my sister Normadillo was her namesake, so MBC fondly calls her “Aunt Normadillo.”

The story certainly captures the era of the Space Shuttle flights. MBC and I salute the many astronauts who bravely flew these space missions, and honor the memory of the Space Shuttle Challenger and Columbia astronauts. The story also honors the work of many people who have worked at Johnson Space Center over the years.

MBC has a heart for Houston.  Her parents lived there for 25 years, and she has many beloved friends and family who are still residents there. For the past week, our hearts and prayers have been with everyone in Houston and other areas as they recover from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. MBC invites you to join her with a donation to the United Methodist Committee on Relief.  100% of your funds go directly to relief efforts.

To all you future “astrodillos” out there, keep reaching for the stars!

Bluebonnet Armadillo