Onizuka Air Force Base

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For nearly five decades, some of the United States military’s most secretive operations were conducted out of a collection of nondescript buildings at the intersection of State Route 237 and Mathilda Avenue in Sunnyvale, California. The installation was known by a variety of names in its early years: Satellite Test Center, Air Force Satellite Control Facility, the “Blue Cube,” and Sunnyvale Air Force Station. In July 1986, the facility was renamed Onizuka Air Force Base after Col. Ellison S. Onizuka, the first Asian American astronaut, who was killed during the space shuttle Challenger accident. The location was selected due to its proximity to Lockheed Missiles and Space Company’s Sunnyvale facilities and supported early satellite reconnaissance programs such as Corona, Gambit, and Hexagon. As the nation’s nucleus for satellite command and control, workers at Onizuka Air Force Base directed efforts for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), US military, and NASA’s space shuttle program until the closure of the base in 2010.
ISBN: 9781467104067
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: California
Series: Images of America
Images: 191
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
Joseph T. Page II grew up in the shadows of Hangar One and the Blue Cube at Naval Air Station Moffett Field. These photographs, detailing the work and personnel of Onizuka Air Force Base throughout the decades, were provided by the US Air Force, NRO, and private collections.