Senator Chuck Schumer pushes for telescope funding and local jobs

Local News

The future of telescopes is starting right here in Rochester with work from engineers at Harris Communication, but the funding for that project has not been approved. 

The one man that is helping push this funding in Washington is Senator Chuck Schumer who came to Rochester Tuesday. He was able to help secure over $100 million in last year’s budget and plans to more than double that for this year. 

Harris corporation has partnered with NASA to design a telescope right here in Rochester. “This investment will have huge bang for the buck,” said Schumer. 

Senator Chuck Schumer has proposed $352 million in the 2019 federal budget for this project that would potentially be approved by the end of the year. “As we were able to get money in last year’s budget, I believe we can double it today,” said Schumer. 

The WFIRST mission will be a satellite that sees more than 100 times the Hubble telescope. It could also potentially help understand dark energy. Other uses could be to find exoplanets across the universe to look at similar planets that may support life. 

It will support over 150 jobs that Harris Corporation communications president Dana Mehnert says will work with this project and others for military and civilian communication technology. “That’s to help us continue the development and production of our next generation products,” said Mehnert. 

This will be NASA’s flagship telescope with potential launch in 2020. 

Harris corporation also plans to fill 50 contract positions over the next few months. They will be holding a recruiting event on Saturday, December 1 on Jefferson Road from 10 a.m. to Noon at their headquarters in Henrietta.

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