Smith, Michael J., CAPT

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary NEC
151X-Aerospace Engineering Duty Officer Pilot or NFO
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1980-1986, 151X, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Service Years
1967 - 1986

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

11 kb

Home State
North Carolina
North Carolina
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by PO1 Jeff Frey (Ace) to remember Smith, Michael J., CAPT.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address

Date of Passing
Jan 28, 1986
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Captain Smith was assigned as Pilot on STS-51-L. Captain Smith died on 28 Jan 1986 when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded after launch from the Kennedy Space Center.



Other Comments:

  • Promoted posthumously by Congress to the rank of Captain.

  • Space Shuttle Mission STSS 51-L was NASA's "Teacher in Space" mission. Concord High School Teacher, Christa McAuliffe was also aboard.

  • Flew 28 different types of civilian and military aircraft, logging 4,867.7 hours of flying time.

  • Chair named in his honor at the U.S. Navy Postgraduate School.

  • Namesake for the Michael J. Smith Airport in Beaufort, North Carolina.

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar
Naval Astronaut Wings

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
CNO - OPNAVNaval Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API), NAS Pensacola, FLFormal Schools and Training CoursesVT-21 Redhawks
VA-52 KnightridersNTPS - Navy Test Pilot SchoolNaval Strike  Warfare Center (NSWC)VA-75 Sunday Punchers
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  1967-1968, CNO - OPNAV
  1968-1968, 139X, Naval Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API), NAS Pensacola, FL
  1968-1969, 139X, Advanced Flight Training Course
  1969-1971, 131X, VT-21 Redhawks
  1971-1973, 131X, VA-52 Knightriders
  1973-1974, 131X, NTPS - Navy Test Pilot School
  1974-1976, 131X, Naval Strike Warfare Center (NSWC)
  1976-1978, 131X, NTPS - Navy Test Pilot School
  1978-1980, 131X, VA-75 Sunday Punchers
  1980-1986, 151X, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1971-1973 Vietnam War
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval AcademyNaval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA
  1963-1967, United States Naval Academy
  1967-1968, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA
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