A photo brought to space in honor of Ellison Onizuka finds its Hawaii home

A photo brought to space in honor of Ellison Onizuka finds its Hawaii home
The family photo made its to Ariyoshi thanks to a Russian astronaut. (HNN)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A special mission that began more than three decades ago is now complete.

A photo of former governor George Ariyoshi and his family was on board the Space Shuttle Challenger when it exploded in 1986.

Amazingly, it amazingly survived the crash and was recovered from the ocean.

It belonged to the late Hawaii-born astronaut Ellison Onizuka. He was closed friends with Governor Ariyoshi.

To complete Onizuka’s mission of honoring the Ariyoshis, Russian Cosmonaut Oleg Arte-Myev recently took a copy of that photo with him to the International Space Station, and brought it back to Hawaii.

“I am very happy to receive this because you’ve fulfilled a desire of Ellison to this photo to space and around,” Gov. Ariyoshi said.

“My mission to Hawaii wouldn’t have been possible without our friends from Hawaii,” Arte-Myev added.

The mission was properly named “Hawaii” and Artemyev says the photo was in space for 200 days.

It was presented to Ariyoshi at ceremony where Governor Ige proclaimed March 4 International Space Station 55th Expedition Hawaii Mission Day.

Copyright 2019 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.