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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 (Kona)
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 (Mauna Kea)
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 (Honolulu)
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 cemetery.

Astronaut Ellison Onizuka Science Day (Hilo)
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 (Los Angeles)
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, California.
-Photos of the Memorial: I - II - III - IV
- History of the Isao Hirai Onizuka Memorial (publicartinla.com)

Ellison Onizuka Street (Los Angeles)
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 (Sunnyvale)
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
-2008 Award: S. Haunani Apoliona
- Eligibility Criteria and Nomination Form (PDF)

See also:
- Bio of Astronaut Ellison Onizuka
- First Space Flight of Ellison Onizuka: Discovery
- Last Space Flight of Ellison Onizuka: Challenger
- Remembering Ellison Shoji Onizuka

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