Astronaut Ellison Onizuka Memorials
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.
Hawaii Ellison Onizuka Memorials
Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center
The space flight museum at the Keahole-Kona International
airport on the west side of Hawaii Island is dedicated to,
and named after, Hawaii astronaut Ellison Onizuka, who
died when Space Shuttle Challenger exploded shortly
after takeoff in 1986. The museum features interactive exhibits
and videos telling the history of manned space flight, the
physics of space flight, and daily life in space. For
museum operating hours and other information call (808) 329-3441.
Onizuka Center for International Astronomy
The official name of the Mauna Kea Observatories visitor's
center on Hawaii Island is the "Onizuka Center for International
Astronomy Visitor Information Station". The center is located
at 9300 feet on Mount Mauna Kea and it has several programs
for the public including a star gazing program every night,
a Saturday event called "The Universe Tonight", weekend summit tours
for those with 4 wheel drive vehicles, and a registration system
for hikers. For more information about the Mauna Kea
Visitors Center named after Ellison Onizuka call 808-961-2180.
Ellison S. Onizuka's Grave
Ellison S. Onizuka was interred at the National Cemetery of the
Pacific in Honolulu - aka Punchbowl Cemetery - on June 2, 1986.
His marker can be found at Gravesite 1 in Section D of the
Astronaut Ellison Onizuka Science Day
Saturday, January 24, 2009 was Astronaut Ellison
Onizuka Science Day at the University of Hawaii
at Hilo. From 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
the university offered astronomy and space
related workshops, interactive exhibits, and special
opening and closing ceremonies. For more information
about Ellison Onizuka Science Day in Hilo call 808-934-7261.
California Ellison Onizuka Memorials
Isao Hirai Ellison Onizuka Memorial
The Japanese American community in Los Angeles was deeply moved by
the death of Onizuka for he had often visited Little Tokyo on his
trips to Los Angeles and was the Grand Marshall of the 1985 Nisei
Week Parade. In mid-1986, an organization called the Onizuka
Memorial Committee was formed to honor Ellison Onizuka in
several ways, including erecting a statue in his honor. Instead
of a statue they ended up building a memorial to Onizuka and
the entire crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger in the form
of a 1/10th scale model of the Challenger. The memorial was
built in 1990 by Isao Iirai of the Scale Model Company of Hawthorne,
-Photos of the Memorial:
History of the Isao Hirai Onizuka Memorial
Ellison Onizuka Street
A short promenade in Little Tokyo formerly known as
Weller Court or Weller Street was renamed "Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Street" in honor
of the Hawaii-born astronaut who died in the 1986 Space
Shuttle Challenger accident. Ellison Onizuka Street is a short
promenade in the Little Tokyo District of Downtown Los Angeles
that runs diagonally across a city block
between South San Pedro Street and West 1st Street. The closest
main intersections to Ellison Onizuka Street are
-IN THE NORTH: East 1st Street and South Los Angeles Street
-IN THE SOUTH: East 2nd Street and South San Pedro Street
-IN THE EAST: West 1st Street and South San Pedro Street
-IN THE WEST: South Los Angeles Street and East 2nd Street
Photo of Ellison Onizuka Street Sign
Onizuka Air Force Station
This air force station next to Moffitt Field in the
San Francisco Bay Area town of Sunnyvale.
was built in 1960. It was originally known as the Air Force Satellite
Test Center but was later renamed the Air Force Satellite Control
Facility and Sunnyvale Air Force Station. In 1986 the facility was
renamed Onizuka Air Force Base in Honor of Astronaut Ellison
Onizuka. On January 26, 1994 it was renamed
Onizuka Air Force Station. Note that theOnizuka
Air Force Station is scheduled to be closed
and turned over to some kind of civilian use
by September 15, 2011.
More About the Closure of Onizuka Air Force Station
Texas Ellison Onizuka Memorials
Challenger Center for Space Education
This educational organization based in Houston,
Texas was founded by Challenger crew family
members. It is dedicated to the entire Challenger
Crew but I am including it here because
Ellison Onizuka's wife Lorna Onizuka was
one of the founding directors.
Colorado Ellison Onizuka Memorials
University of Colorado - Ellison Onizuka Memorial
Ellison Onizuka got his master's degree in
Aerospace Engineering from the University of
Colorado in 1969. He returned there often to
give lectures and meet with students.
There is an Ellison Onizuka memorial on the
university grounds, just west of
the University of Colorado Engineering Center.
Every January 28, the anniversary of the
Space Shuttle Challenger disaster ,
a wreath is placed, and a flag is raised above the
University of Colorado Ellison Onizuka memorial..
University of Colorado - Onizuka Conference Room
The Onizuka Conference Room at the University
of Colorado is located on the first floor on the
Aerospace Engineering wing of the Engineering Center.
Other Entities Named After Ellison Onizuka
3355 Onizuka Asteroid
Discovered by Edward L.G. Bowell on February 8, 1984,
when he was observing the sky from Flagstaff Arizona.
The Onizuka Asteroid is also known as
1945 BA, 1979 SM10, 1981 GD, and 1984 CC1.
Onizuka Lunar Crater
A 29 kilometer wide crater on the moon
that lies within the walled plain known as Apollo,
on the southern edge of that plain.
NEA Ellison S. Onizuka Memorial Award
The National Education Association's Onizuka Memorial Award
is presented for distinguished leadership in education and honors
an individual whose activities have made significant improvements
in educational opportunities and advanced the achievement of equal
opportunity for Asian and Pacific Islanders.
-1991 Award: Henry Der
LA Times Article by Henry Der
S. Haunani Apoliona
Eligibility Criteria and Nomination Form (PDF)
Bio of Astronaut Ellison Onizuka
First Space Flight of Ellison Onizuka: Discovery
Last Space Flight of Ellison Onizuka: Challenger
Remembering Ellison Shoji Onizuka
Hawaii Travel Resources
Islands of Hawaii
Hawaii for Visitors
Hawaii Travel Newsletter