Born April 30, 1945, in Beaufort, North Carolina. He received a bachelor of science degree in Naval Science from the United States Naval Academy in 1967 and a master of science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1968. He flew 28 different types of civilian and military aircraft, logging 4,868 hours of flying time. Captain Smith died on January 28, 1986 when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded after launch from the Kennedy Space Center. This is the official NASA photo of the crew. From front left, are: astronauts Michael J. Smith, Francis R. (Dick) Scobee, and Ronald E. McNair. Rear left are: Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis and Judith Resnick.
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