RICHLAND – The Association of Space Explorers, in coordination with Washington State Astronauts and The Museum of Flight, will be visiting seven Mid-Columbia schools on Wednesday, Sept. 17.

As part of the Association of Space Explorers XXI Planetary Congress held Sept. 15-19 in Seattle, astronauts and cosmonauts from across the planet will visit schools in Washington State as part of a special Community Day.

The Washington State MESA program, in collaboration with the MESA office at WSU Tri-Cities, has arranged for astronauts to speak at its outreach schools in Pasco and the Lower Yakima Valley. The vision of the MESA program (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement) is to provide enriching opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics for kindergarten through 12th-grade students who are underrepresented in those fields.

Astronauts will be visiting the following schools on Sept. 17:
Pasco High School — 10:30-11:30 a.m.
McLoughlin Middle School, Pasco — 12:30-2:30 pm.
Ochoa Middle School, Pasco — 9:15-10:30 a.m.
Stevens Middle School, Pasco — 8-9 a.m.  
Sunnyside High School —1-2:15 pm.
Wapato High School — 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Granger Middle School — time to be determined

The Association of Space Explorers is a non-profit professional and educational organization of over 300 space travelers (astronauts and cosmonauts) from 32 nations. Founded in 1985, ASE’s mission is to provide a forum for professional dialogue among individuals who have flown in space, to promote the benefits of space science and exploration, to promote education in science and engineering and inspire students at all levels, to foster environmental awareness, and to encourage international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space. 

This is only the third time the ASE Congress has been held in the United States since 1985. The Washington state coordinating committee for the ASE Congress is comprised of shuttle astronauts Bonnie J. Dunbar, George (Pinky) Nelson, Capt. John O. Creighton, Capt. Wendy Lawrence and Apollo astronauts Gen. Bill Anders and Gen. Richard Gordon.