Sen. Charles E. Schumer makes STARWALK announcement on the Walkway

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 STARWALK: A Universe of Fun. 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.