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Onizuka’s legacy honored with educational events


This year’s “Astronaut Ellison Onizuka Science Day” is slated for 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 24 at the University of Hawaii-Hilo

The event features workshops, interactive displays and guest speakers.

Free on-line registration is open to students in grades 4 through 12, and parents, and teachers of any grade level.

Seating will be limited. Online reservations will be made on a first-come, first-served basis. Workshop assignments will be based upon selections and space availability. A confirmation will be sent later to all registered participants.

In addition, the Onizuka Space Center is hosting the 23rd Challenger commemorative event 10 a.m.-noon, Sunday, Jan. 25.

The free event will feature Tony Leavitt, of Ames Research Center in California. Leavitt will speak on “NASA and the Challenger Legacy” and present an update of NASA’s current and future space missions.

For further information, call Onizuka Space Center at 329-3441.

Ellison Onizuka

Born and raised in Kealakekua, Ellison Onizuka graduated from Konawaena High School in 1964 and from the University of Colorado with a degree in Aerospace Engineering.

Receiving a commission in the U.S. Air Force through ROTC, he was an aerospace flight test engineer at McClellan Air Force Base, and at the USAF Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base while logging more than 1,700 hours flying time.

Selected as an astronaut candidate in January 1978, he first flew as a mission specialist on STS 51-C, the first Space Shuttle Department of Defense mission, which launched Jan. 25, 1985 from Kennedy Space Center; STS-51-C Discovery completed 48 orbits of the Earth with Ellison logging a total of 74 hours in space.

Lt. Col. Onizuka was a mission specialist on STS-51-L, Challenger, which was launched from Kennedy Space Center at 11:38 a.m. Jan. 28, 1986. The seven-member crew died when Challenger exploded 1 minute, 13 seconds after launch.

— Find out more:
Astronaut Ellison Onizuka Science Day: www.spacegrant,

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