Saturday, January 28, 2006

Remembering Astronaut Ellison Onizuka

Ellison Shoji OnizukaTwenty years ago today, Hawaii-born NASA astronaut Ellison Shoji Onizuka died when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded a few minutes after taking off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The accident took place on January 28, 1986 at 11:40 a.m. Ellison Onizuka was born in the town of Kealakekua on the west coast of the Big Island of Hawaii on June 24, 1946. He received a master's degree in engineering from the University of Colorado in 1969, and he served in the U.S. Air Force from 1970 to 1978, when he was selected by NASA to train for a career as an astronaut. His first space shuttle flight was January 24-27, 1985, when he orbited the earth 48 times before landing safely in Florida. The tragic accident that killed him occurred during his second flight into space. Ellison Onizuka was survived by his wife Lorna and his two daughters Janelle and Darien.
  • Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center
  • Onizuka Center for International Astronomy
  • Onizuka Air Force Station in California

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