Shuttle Astronaut Mini-Museum: Space Tire

Field review by the editors.

Beaufort, North Carolina

Astronaut Michael J. Smith was the pilot of the Space Shuttle Challenger, and died when it exploded in 1986. He's remembered in a mini-museum in a hallway of his hometown elementary school. The museum was created in 2000, when the school acquired a "space tire" that had flown on the Challenger's replacement shuttle, and didn't have a place to put it. The tire now stands in the hallway, flanked by other exhibits, and can be touched by visitors.

Beaufort also has a simple granite block memorial to Smith at the town waterfront.

Shuttle Astronaut Mini-Museum: Space Tire

Beaufort Elementary School

801 Mulberry St., Beaufort, NC
Head out of Beaufort on Live Oak Street. Turn left on NC 101 West. Turn right on Carraway Drive. School is on the left.
School hours - ask permission. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Grave of the Rum Keg GirlGrave of the Rum Keg Girl, Beaufort, NC - < 1 mi.
Memorial to Doomed Space Shuttle AstronautMemorial to Doomed Space Shuttle Astronaut, Beaufort, NC - < 1 mi.
Head of Woo Woo HarkerHead of Woo Woo Harker, Morehead City, NC - 3 mi.
In the region:
Big Statue of Blackbeard, Beaufort, NC - 7 mi.

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