Michael J. Smith (Photo: NASA)
A native of North Carolina, Michael J. Smith graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1967 and served in Vietnam. After the war, he became a Navy test pilot and, in 1980, was selected for the astronaut program.
On January 28, 1986, Smith, the Challenger
's pilot, was one of seven crew members killed when the space shuttle exploded seconds after lift-off. It was to have been Smith's first mission in space.
Twenty-five years later, we remember astronaut Michael Smith and invite you to share memories and condolences in his Guest Book.