07.03.18

SCHUMER CALLS ON NASA TO SEND ASTRONAUT TO UPCOMING COMMUNITY STARWALK EVENT ON THE WALKWAY OVER THE HUDSON; SERIES WILL HELP EXPAND WALKWAY’S FOOTPRINT IN HUDSON VALLEY AS WELL AS BOOST OPPORTUNITIES TO HELP EDUCATE AND INSPIRE NEXT GENERATION OF AMERICAN STEM STUDENTS AND SCIENTISTS

The Recently Announced STARWALK Series, By The Walkway Over The Hudson is Designed To Bring The Local Communities And Tourists Alike To The Walkway Over The Hudson State Park while learning About Astronomy

Schumer Calls On NASA To Send Astronaut To The Walkway Over The Hudson To Attend Upcoming STARWALK Series Event; NASA Presence Would Inspire And Engage Local Community Students Of All Ages, As Well As Tourists On Importance Of Science Research And Education

Schumer To NASA: Help Launch Walkway Over the Hudson Programming Into A New Galaxy

Today, standing in Highland, New York, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer called on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to help facilitate the attendance of an astronaut to one of Walkway Over the Hudson’s STARWALK events. Schumer said Walkway Over the Hudson, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to the enhancement, improvement and upkeep of the Walkway Over the Hudson State Park spanning across the Hudson River from Poughkeepsie to Highland, New York, recently announced a new series of educational programs called the Moonwalk Series. Schumer praised Walkway Over the Hudson on their efforts to continue to help inspire students of all ages to become part of the next generation of world-class American scientists through their STARWALK and Moonwalk series.

“Providing our students with all the tools necessary to learn about and become interested in scientific research and the environment has always been a top priority of mine, which is why I am calling on NASA to help the Walkway Over the Hudson continue their great work in inspiring our next generation of scientists right here in the Hudson Valley,” said Senator Schumer. “Walkway Over the Hudson has a phenomenal history of getting students in the Hudson Valley area engaged and hooked on the sciences particularly astronomy; that is why it is vital that NASA sends an astronaut to a STARWALK event as soon as possible. I can’t think of anything more special for our community, especially our students ranging of all ages, than having the opportunity to meet and be inspired by a real-life astronaut.” 

Schumer said that Walkway Over the Hudson is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the support and improvement of the Walkway Over the Hudson State Park, spanning across the Hudson River from Poughkeepsie to Highland, New York. According to Schumer, this group has organized previous astronomy-focused events, such as the Moonwalk series, which have averaged attendance several thousand local community members, as well as students and adults of all ages per event. Schumer said NASA has a strong history of supporting educational initiatives, especially in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines and urged NASA to participate in the STARWALK program by sending an astronaut to the Hudson Valley. Schumer added that he believes sending an astronaut to a STARWALK has the ability to help inspire the local community, especially students, who could develop into the next generation of scientists.

Schumer continued: “NASA must help the Walkway continue to inspire the next generation of space explorers and STEM researches, and the best way to kick off this great partnership is to send an astronaut to the community. Not only would this visit launch Walkway Over the Hudson’s novel programming, but it would also make it an out-of-this-world experience for all those who visit.”

Schumer explained that STARWALK, facilitated by the Walkway Over the Hudson, is an astronomically themed program designed to be fun, educational and interactive for beginner and advanced stargazers alike. Open and free to the public, Schumer proclaimed that STARWALK offers a unique opportunity to learn more about the stars and for the community to enjoy the staggering horizon-to-horizon view of the night sky on the Walkway Over the Hudson State Park. STARWALK events typically include introductions to the night sky, viewing constellations through telescopes and nighttime photography tips. Schumer said that these events can only be enhanced by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) participation, especially by that of an astronaut seeing that they’re widely respected and admired for both their scientific knowledge and their life achievements.

"Over the past few years, The Walkway Over The Hudson has had great success with our MoonWalks and this year we are thrilled to add STARWALKS to our nighttime programming. Stargazing has inspired people since the dawn of man and now the Walkway can inspire our visitors with more interactive nighttime activities.  We have partnered with the Mid-Hudson Astronomical Association, SUNY New Paltz, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie Public Library District, NYS Parks and others to bring the night sky alive," said Mike Oates, Chairman of the Board, Walkway Over The Hudson and president of Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation. "Senator Schumer has been a wonderful partner as we work to bring more visitors to the Walkway who will in turn spend more money in our community.  Having a NASA astronaut participate to one of our STARWalks will further enhance our visitor's experience. Senator Schumer's support of our program and calling on NASA to send an astronaut is fantastic. I look forward to joining Senator Schumer under the bright stars as we host one of our American heroes." 

Schumer praised NASA for their strong history of supporting educational initiatives, especially in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. Schumer said that he believed that NASA’s broad participation in the STARWALK programming would support those goals, as well as engage the public on NASA’s broader missions. Schumer explained that the STARWALK events are held in partnership with the Friends of the Walkway Over the Hudson, Vassar College, Marist College, the Mid-Hudson Astronomical Association, the John R. Kirk Planetarium at SUNY New Paltz and many other local partners and with the thousands of visitors Walkway over the Hudson sees every year makes it viable program for NASA to send an astronaut to.

A copy of Schumer’s letter to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine appears below:

Dear Administrator Bridenstine,

I write in strong support of the Walkway Over the Hudson’s application to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to help facilitate the attendance of an astronaut to one of the organization’s well-known community STARWALK events sometime this year.

Walkway over the Hudson is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the support and improvement of the Walkway over the Hudson State Park located in Highland, New York. This group has organized previous astronomy-focused events, such as the Moonwalk series, which have averaged attendance of more than 2,000 local community members, as well as students and adults of all ages per event. I know that NASA has a strong history of supporting educational initiatives, especially in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. I believe that NASA’s broad participation in this programming would support those goals, as well as engage the public on NASA’s broader missions.  Additionally, I believe that NASA sending an astronaut to a STARWALK has the ability to help inspire the local community, especially our students, to develop into the next generation of scientists and to reach for the stars.     

STARWALK is an astronomically themed program designed to be fun, educational and interactive for beginner and advanced stargazers alike. Open and free to the public, Starwalk offer a unique opportunity to learn more about the stars and for the community to enjoy the horizon-to-horizon view of the night sky on the Walkway Over the Hudson. STARWALK events include introductions to the night sky, viewing constellations through telescopes, and nighttime photography tips.  These types of community events can only be enhanced by NASA’s participation, especially by that of an astronaut.  As you know, astronauts are respected and admired for both their scientific knowledge and their life achievements. I am sure that the presence of a NASA astronaut would provide inspiration and insight into the importance of both science and astronomical research to all those who attend.

These events are being held in partnership with the Friends of the Walkway Over the Hudson, Vassar College, Marist College, the Mid-Hudson Astronomical Association, the John R. Kirk Planetarium at SUNY New Paltz, and many other local partners.

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.

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