Astronauts and Hokule’a

Hokulea captain explains how late astronaut’s vision inspired historic journey

Hawaii’s voyaging canoe Hokulea arrived in Titusville, Fla. Tuesday, just west of the Kennedy Space Center where crew members will hold a special ceremony to honor Hawaii’s first two astronauts, Ellison Onizuka and Lacy Veach.

For Hokulea captain Nainoa Thompson, it has an even deeper meaning as he’ll be honoring one of his best friends.

In 1992, Punahou graduate Lt. Col. Lacy Veach was on board the space shuttle Columbia as it flew over Hawaii.

Buoyed constantly by his love for the islands, he responded to mission control’s wake-up call with: “Hanohano Hawaii la, aloha Houston.”

Veach once smuggled on board an adze, or an ax-like cutting tool. “You see Hawaii Island through the window? That’s where the adze is from, passed down through his family.”

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