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Permanent Memorial In Herkimer County Honoring The Life Of Astronaut, Payload Specialist & Herkimer Hero, Gregory Jarvis, To Open Next Month

Schumer Secured Artifacts From Jarvis’s Career & A Visit From An Astronaut At A Celebration Of Jarvis’s Life & Legacy In Herkimer County On May 3rd

Schumer: Gregory Jarvis Showed Herkimer County How To Reach For The Stars And Now Astronaut Stanley G. Love Will Too

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that, following his push, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Astronaut Stanley G. Love will be attending a celebration of the life of Astronaut Gregory Jarvis in Herkimer County and the official unveiling of a memorial in his honor on May 3rd of this year. Gregory Jarvis, who was raised in Herkimer County, was a payload specialist who tragically lost his life on January 28, 1986, when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after launch. Additionally, Schumer gave details on the equipment and memorabilia that NASA would be sending to Herkimer County to commemorate his life and legacy, including a Shuttle Era Flight Suit with Gregory Jarvis name tag and STS-51-L appropriate mission patches, a 1:100 Scale Shuttle Model and a Shuttle Era Helmet. Schumer praised NASA and Herkimer County for their efforts to help inspire students of all ages to become part of the next generation of world-class American scientists by putting together such a fitting tribute Astronaut Gregory Jarvis, an American hero of the highest order.

“Astronaut Gregory Jarvis exemplified the very best America has to offer and taught us to always reach for the stars; he is more than worthy of this memorial to help continue preserving his legacy for generations to come. I thank NASA for its generosity in sending artifacts from Mr. Jarvis’s career and Astronaut Stanley G. Love to the memorial’s unveiling to help inspire students of all ages to become part of the next generation of great American scientists,” said Senator Schumer. “Gregory Jarvis was a hero close to the hearts of many in this community, and I can think of no better place to recognize the role he played in advancing the scientific and space exploration efforts of NASA than right here in his home of Herkimer County.

“NASA Astronaut Stanley Love is a veteran of the Space Shuttle, who traveled to the International Space Station and conducted two spacewalks – we are honored that he will be there to celebrate the life and accomplishments of Gregory Jarvis,” added Schumer.

Previously, Schumer wrote to Johnson Space Center Director Ellen Ochoa officially requesting the help of NASA in the planning and establishment of the memorial honoring Mr. Jarvis. To show the community’s enthusiasm for the project, Schumer highlighted an event last year where local students, community leaders, and public officials signed and unveiled a scroll requesting NASA’s assistance in creating a permanent display. Additionally, Schumer wrote to NASA to secure the presence of an astronaut at the unveiling of the memorial, citing an astronaut’s potential to help inspire students of all ages to become part of the next generation of world-class American scientists and encourage them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Schumer added that NASA’s assistance is critical in order for the memorial to most accurately honor Mr. Jarvis’s legacy in his hometown.

A copy of Schumer’s letter to NASA appears below.

Dear Dr. Ochoa,

I write to request the help of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in establishing a memorial honoring Challenger Astronaut Gregory Jarvis to be located in Herkimer County, New York. Local officials are seeking to create a memorial for Mr. Jarvis, who was raised in Herkimer County, and are hoping to include official NASA artifacts and memorabilia in order to properly honor his legacy. Such support will enable Herkimer County to commemorate the life of this public servant and inspire future generations to pursue their dreams.

As you know, Astronaut Gregory Jarvis was a payload specialist who tragically lost his life along with seven other astronauts on January 28, 1986, when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after its launch. Mr. Jarvis spent most of his childhood in the town of Mohawk in Herkimer County and graduated from Mohawk High School in 1962. After acquiring a bachelors and master’s degree, Astronaut Jarvis embarked on a second advanced degree through which he aspired to be the first person to get a college degree in space – a feat he was awarded posthumously – and served active duty in the United States Air Force. His legacy continues to inspire children in Herkimer County where the middle school he once attended now bears his name.

The effort to further honor Mr. Jarvis with a memorial was inspired by NASA’s visit to Gregory Jarvis Middle School in Mohawk in the spring of 2016. Dignitaries from NASA visited local schools and spoke passionately about NASA’s role in the journey to Mars and the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). In conjunction with the visit, an art contest titled “Journey to Mars – My Trip to Space,” was held across county schools and Astronaut Lee Morin addressed the county legislature. A year later in May 2017, local officials and students added their signatures to a scroll supporting a memorial for Astronaut Jarvis, officially launching their effort to make this project a reality.

Specifically, officials and students are looking to create a permanent, secure display open to the public. The size and style is to be determined, but officials hope to include artifacts from both his early life in Herkimer County and his career with NASA. Potential artifacts could include, but are not limited to, flight suits, helmets, gloves, patches, pictures of missions and copies of awards/recognitions. It is my hope NASA will work with the County to deliver some of these requests and continue to honor this local and national hero.

Herkimer County wants to encourage their youth to look to the future with excitement and believe that no dream is too big. There is no better role model to do so than Astronaut Gregory Jarvis. The entire community is enthusiastic about this project and are eager to bring it to fruition.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or my staff. 


Charles E. Schumer

U.S. Senate Minority Leader