HERKIMER — A campaign by Herkimer County students to set up a memorial exhibit for space shuttle Challenger astronaut Gregory B. Jarvis at the Herkimer County Office Building has gained the support of Jarvis’ widow, Marcia, and officials at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Herkimer County Legislator John Brezinski recently received a Flight 51-L commemoration plaque from Marcia Jarvis along with Greg Jarvis’ space flight medals and artifacts, including training photos, from several others.
Brezinski said NASA officials have been in contact with him and hope to provide a shuttle model, space suit and helmet for the exhibit along with input on how to display all of the artifacts.
A scroll bearing the signatures of school children from across the county was sent to NASA last fall asking that artifacts related to Jarvis be brought to Herkimer County to be displayed in a secure cabinet at the Herkimer County Office Building. The scroll was unrolled to its full length in front of Gregory B. Jarvis Middle School in Mohawk before being sent to NASA.
Brezinski said he is reaching out to school officials to involve students in the dedication of the exhibit, but he did not know when the artifacts might arrive.
Funding still could be required for the cost of a display cabinet, he said.
Jarvis, who grew up in Mohawk and graduated from Mohawk High School, was among seven astronauts killed Jan. 28, 1986, when the Challenger exploded 73 seconds into its flight.
Jarvis was selected as a payload specialist candidate in July 1984, chosen from more than 600 engineer applicants from Hughes Aircraft. His initial launch date was delayed twice and he re-entered training in November 1985, preparing to fly the STS 51-L mission. His duties were to conduct fluid dynamics experiments that would have tested the reactions of satellite propellants to various shuttle maneuvers and simulated spacecraft movements.