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Bio of Astronaut Ellison Onizuka

Hawaii-born NASA astronaut Ellison Shoji Onizuka died when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after taking off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on January 28, 1986 at 11:40 a.m. The Challenger mission was Onizuka's second flight into space. His first flight was a year earlier on the Space Shuttle Discovery.

Ellison Onizuka
Photo Credit: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Facts About Ellison Onizuka
-Full Name: Ellison Shoji Onizuka
-Birth Date: June 24, 1946
-Birth Place: Kealakekua, Hawaii Island
-Siblings: Shirley, Norma, and Claude
-Married wife Lorna Leiko Yoshida on June 7, 1969
-Children: Two daughters, Janelle and Darien
-Hobbies: Running, hunting, fishing
-Died: January 28, 1986 at age 39
-Ellison Onizuka was laid to rest at the National Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

Education of Ellison Onizuka
-Graduated from Konawaena High School in Kealakekua, Hawaii, in 1964
-Bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering in June of 1969 from the University of Colorado
-Master's degree in Aerospace Engineering in December of 1969 from the University of Colorado

Pre-NASA Military Career
-Four year ROTC program at the University of Colorado
-Entered the U.S. Air Force in January of 1970
-Aerospace flight test engineer at the Sacramento Air Logistics Center at McClellan Air Force Base in California.
-Attended the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School August 1974 to July 1975.
-In July 1975, he was assigned to teach at the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California He has logged more than 1,700 hours flying time.
-Left the Air Force in 1978 when he began training as an astronaut

Early NASA Career of Ellison Onizuka
-Selected by NASA for astronaut training in January of 1978
-Finished one year training and evaluation period in August of 1979
-Worked on orbiter test and checkout teams and launch support crews at the Kennedy Space Center for STS-1 and STS-2

Space Flights of Ellison Onizuka
- Ellison Onizuka's 1st Space Flight: Discovery STS 51-C
- Photos of Ellison Onizuka's First Space Flight
- Ellison Onizuka's 2nd Space Flight: Challenger STS 51-L

Memorials to Astronaut Ellison Onizuka
Information about organizations, facilities, streets, awards, and other entities named in honor of Hawaii-born Astronaut Ellison Onizuka. Also includes Ellison Onizuka memorials in Hawaii, California, Texas, and Colorado.

Memberships of Ellison Onizuka
-American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
-Society of Flight Test Engineers
-Air Force Association
-Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Tau
-Triangle Fraternity

Honors and Awards
-Air Force Commendation Medal
-Air Force Meritorious Service Medal
-Air Force Organizational Excellence Award
-Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
-National Defense Service Medal

Bios and Articles About Ellison Onizuka
- Official NASA Bio of Ellison Onizuka
- Hawaii Remembers Onizuka on Challenger Anniversary
- Time Magazine Tribute to Ellison Onizuka
- SpaceShuttleMemorial.com - Ellison Onizuka
- University of Colorado - Alumnus Ellison Onizuka
- Astronaut Memorial Foundation - Ellison Onizuka
- Wikipedia on Ellison Onizuka

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