Michael Smith

Michael John Smith (1945 - 1986)

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Capt Michael John Smith
Born in Beaufort, Carteret County, North Carolina, United States of Americamap
[sibling(s) unknown]
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died in Cape Canaveral, Brevard County, Florida, United States of Americamap
Profile last modified | Created 10 Jan 2017
This page has been accessed 172 times.

Categories: American Notables | North Carolina Notables | Beaufort, North Carolina | United States Navy | Defense Distinguished Service Medal | Distinguished Flying Cross (United States) | Air Medal | NASA Distinguished Service Medal | Congressional Space Medal of Honor | Space Shuttle Pilot | STS-51-L Crew Members | Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

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Father: Robert Louis Smith
Mother: Lucille Ellen Safrit[1]

Michael John Smith (April 30, 1945 – January 28, 1986), (Capt, USN), was an American astronaut—pilot of the Space Shuttle Challenger when it was destroyed during the STS-51-L mission.

This was Smith's first NASA mission. The crew compartment of the Space Shuttle Challenger reached 65,000 ft in altitude, not high enough for him to qualify as an astronaut.

1945 Born in Beaufort, Carteret, North Carolina, USA.
1967 Bachelor of Science in Naval Science, United States Naval Academy. During his Navy career, he was awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross and three Air Medals.
1968 Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.
1980 Selected by NASA in Astronauts Group 9. [2]
1986 Flew on Challenger STS-51-L as Pilot with Dick Scobee, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Gregory Jarvis and Christa McAuliffe. Awarded the NASA Distinguished Service Medal. [3] Died in the crash resulting from the explosion of the Challenger.
2004 Awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. [4]
Space Medal
of Honor


  1. "North Carolina Birth Index, 1800-2000," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VHKR-3RX : 8 December 2014), Michael John Smith, 30 Apr 1945; from "North Carolina, Birth and Death Indexes, 1800-2000," database and images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : 2005); citing vol. 28, p. 216, Carteret, North Carolina, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh.
  2. Wikipedia List of Astronauts, by Year
  3. Agency Awards Historical Recipient List
  4. Congressional Space Medal of Honor Recipients

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