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The State

Lt. Col. Ellison S. Onizuka, one of seven astronauts killed aboard the space shuttle Challenger, was honored by the Air Force when a satellite tracking station in Sunnyvale was renamed in his honor. Air Force Secretary Edward C. Aldridge Jr. and Lt. Gen. Forrest S. McCartney, Space Division commander, led a solemn 30-minute ceremony changing the name of the Sunnyvale Air Force Station to the Onizuka Air Force Station. Onizuka’s wife, Lorna, and his mother and brother watched as a portrait of the astronaut, to be hung at the station, was unveiled. Onizuka, a Hawaiian-born officer and father of two, was making his second shuttle flight when he died at age 40 in the Challenger disaster on Jan. 28. He served briefly at the Sunnyvale station.


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