Onizuka Space Science Day, 8 March 2014

NASA Astronaut, Col. Douglas H. Wheelock  will be the keynote speaker.


The Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Memorial was chartered in 1986 to uphold the memory of Astronaut Onizuka and to inspire future generations. One of his many messages to young students was: “Your vision is not limited by what your eyes can see, but by what your mind can imagine.”

The 2014 Space Science Day event is scheduled for Saturday, 8 March 2014 at El Camino College.




This year marks the 28th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy in which Astronaut Ellison Onizuka perished along with six other crew members. This annual event honors Onizuka’s memory and is dedicated to his dream of inspiring the youth of America to strive for and achieve their career goals. This day is designed for serious-minded science students in grades 5 through 12. Reservations are required to attend this FREE event. See below for more information.






Introducing NASA Astronaut Col. Douglas H. Wheelock


Colonel Wheelock reported for Astronaut Candidate Training in August 1998.  He was assigned to the Astronaut Office International Space Station Operations Branch as a Russian Liaison, participating in the testing and integration of Russian hardware and software products developed for the station.  He worked extensively with the Energia Aerospace Company in Moscow, Russia, and has led joint U.S./Russian teams to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to oversee bench reviews, inventory, loading and launch of the first four unmanned International Space Station (ISS) resupply capsules.


STS-120 Discovery (October 23 to November 7, 2007) launched from and returned to land at Kennedy Space Center, Florida.  During the mission, the Node 2 module, Harmony, was delivered to the International Space Station.  This element opened up the capability for future international laboratories to be added to the station.  Wheelock accumulated 20 hours and 41 minutes of EVA during three spacewalks.  One of the major EVA mission objectives was the relocation of the P6 Solar Array from the top of the Z1 Truss to the end of the port side of the Integrated Truss Structure.  During the redeploy of the solar array, several array panels snagged and were damaged, requiring an unplanned spacewalk to successfully repair the array.  The American Astronautical Society’s Flight Achievement Award was presented to the spacewalkers for demonstrating the importance of ingenuity and heroism in exploring space.  The mission was accomplished in 238 orbits, traveling 6.2 million miles in 15 days, 2 hours and 23 minutes.


Soyuz TMA 23S Olympus/International Space Station Expedition 24/25 (June 15 to November 25, 2010) – Colonel Wheelock launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome as a Flight Engineer on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft for a 2-day autonomous flight to the station.  He began his long-duration stay aboard the orbiting outpost as a Flight Engineer for Expedition 24 and then assumed command of the station and the Expedition 25 crew.  During Expedition 25, there were more than 120 microgravity experiments in human research, biology and biotechnology, physical and materials sciences, technology development and Earth and space sciences.  Colonel Wheelock also responded to an emergency shutdown of half of the station’s external cooling system and was the lead spacewalker for three unplanned EVAs to replace the faulty ammonia pump module that caused the shutdown. His efforts restored the station’s critical cooling system to full function.  For his actions during this challenging time, Colonel Wheelock was presented the American Red Cross 2010 Hero in Space Award, and the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale 2010 Yuri Gagarin Gold Medal Award.  The mission duration was 163 days and culminated in a parachute landing in the Olympus capsule in Kazakhstan.


To date, Colonel Wheelock has accumulated more than 178 days in space.




SCHEDULE FOR March 8, 2014

Onizuka Space Science Day 2014 program (click here)


Paper Airplane & Egg Drop Competitions

Demonstrations in Astronomy, Physics & Chemistry

Free Lunch to the First 800 Students

Interactive Science Activities & Hands-on Experiments

Se ofrecerán algunos talleres en español

Ask the Astronaut




8:00 – 8:50 a.m.            Registration Marsee Auditorium

9:00 – 9:05 a.m.            Welcome from El Camino College Thomas M. Fallo Superintendent/President

9:05 – 9:10 a.m.            Ellison S. Onizuka Memorial Committee, Allen Murakoshi, President

9:10 – 10:15 a.m.          Keynote Address:  NASA Astronaut

10: 15 – 10:30 a.m.       Q&A with the Astronaut

10-30 – 10:45 a.m.        Travel Time

10: 45 –  11:30 a.m.      Breakouts – Session A

11:30 – 11:45 a.m.         Travel Time

11:45 – 12:30 p.m.         Breakouts – Session B (Repeat of Session A sessions)

12:30 – 1:00 p.m.            Lunch

12::30 p.m.                       Egg Drop Competition (outside on the east side of the Natural Science Bldg)



Additional lectures and workshops will be available to introduce students of all ages to science, scientific investigation and scientific projects.

A limited number of seats are available for the demonstrations and lectures. Group reservations are accepted.
El espacio es limitado ~ Favor de hacer su reservación.
To make reservations email – SpaceDay@elcamino.edu or call 310-660-3487
Si tiene alguna pregunta ~ jbedolla@elcamino.edu 310-660-3593 x3452


Acknowledgements to American Honda Motor Co., El Camino College, NASA  Johnson Space Center,

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)





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