NASA Hard Hat KSC "Onizuka"
This is the Kennedy Space Center launch pad hard hat ( NOT shuttle flight hardware) of historic value. NASA Astronaut, Ellison Onizuka used it to inspect the Challenger on various occasions during his visits to KSC. Onizuka was my friend and gave this and another hat to me. I cannot explain why. He knew that I had the highest respect for all astronauts and was also a friend of Astronaut Judy Resnik. Both were members of the Challenger STS-51L crew. On January 28, 1986. I was involved in the Challenger launch. As the Challenger lifted off from pad 39, I watched it gaining speed as I heard the order “Go for throttle up !”. Soon after the Challenger exploded and I witnessed my seven friends die before my eyes. I have cherished this hat from my friend, but, I am getting older and want it to be in the hands of someone that will recognize its value as an important piece of our space program history.