Ellison S. Onizuka

Onizuka, EllisonLieutenant Colonel, USAF | NASA Astronaut

BS Aerospace Engineering, University of Colorado 1969. MS Aerospace Engineering, University of Colorado, 1969

Initiated Triangle
Colorado Chapter, 1969

Career Highlights
Mission Specialist on space shuttle Challenger, where he entered chapter eternal in a 1986 accident; Mission Specialist on space shuttles Discovery (1985) and Challenger; Logged over 75 hours in space; Qualified as an Astronaut in 1979

Selected Honors
Air Force Commendation Medal; Air Force Meritorious Service Medal; Air Force Outstanding Unit Award; National Defense Service Medal

“When he first came back to Holualoa, I hoped he would remember older people. He went to a senior citizen center at Holualoa school and they came to talk with him. The children, they only saw astronauts in comics, so they came around and touched him to see if he was real. One little girl said, ‘Oh the astronaut shook hands with me. I’ll never wash my hand.'”

In December 1997, NASA dedicated a new altitude record to Onizuka.