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Ellison Onizuka (1946)close

Ellison Onizuka was born in Kealakekua, Kona, Hawaii. He was a lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force, was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in 1978, and flew as a mission specialist on the first Space Shuttle Department of Defense mission in 1985, becoming the first Asian-American and first person of Japanese heritage in space. He died in 1986, while serving on the crew of the ill-fated Space Shuttle Orbiter Challenger.

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