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North Carolina marker to honor astronaut killed in Challenger explosion

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Space Shuttle Challenger Crew: Ellison S. Onizuka Sharon Christa McAuliffe Greg Jarvis and Judy Resnik. In the front row from left to right: Mike Smith Dick Scobee and Ron McNair November 1985. (Photo credit: NASA.gov)

North Carolina will honor an astronaut killed in the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger with a historic highway marker.

State officials say the dedication ceremony for the marker honoring Mike Smith will be held Friday near the Michael J. Smith Airport in Beaufort.

Smith was born in Beaufort and graduated from Carteret County High School.

He was the pilot of the Challenger space shuttle, which exploded moments after it lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in January 1986. All seven astronauts were killed.

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