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Getty This November 1985 file provided by NASA shows the crew of the doomed US space shuttle Challenger. Front row from left are: astronauts Mike Smith, Dick Scobee, Ron McNair, back row from left: Ellison Onizuka, school teacher Christa McAuliffe, Greg Jarvis, and Judith Resnik.

Michael J. Smith, a former Vietnam pilot, was the pilot of the Challenger STS 51-L.

He left behind his wife, Jane Jarrell Smith (now Jane Smith Wolcott), and three children. Learn more about them and where they are now below.

The Challenger explosion is the subject of Netflix’s new four-part documentary series Challenger: The Final Flight, exploring the stories around the tragedy of January 28, 1986.

Jane Smith Wolcott Married a Doctor Who Had Gone to School with Her Husband

Jane Smith Wolcott (L), widow of Challenger pilot Michael Smith, Lona Onizuka (2nd-L), widow of Challenger mission specialist Ellison Onizuka and Kathie Scobee Fulgham (3rd-R), daughter of Challenger commander Dick Scobee, and her daughter, Jillie (2nd-R), listen to widow June Scobee Rogers during a memorial service on the 20th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex January 28, 2006.

Wolcott would later become one of the founding directors of the Challenger Center. She later remarried and moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia. She married Hugh Dixon “Dix” Wolcott, a doctor and a family friend, The Washington Post reported. Dix Wolcott went to school with Smith at the Naval Academy. While Smith went on to be an astronaut, Dix Wolcott became an obstetrician-gynecologist. She said her husband appreciated her desire to rescue stray animals of all kinds and supported her.

In 1986, she wrote a letter rebuking NASA for its response to the accident, Chicago Tribune reported. She said the Rogers Commission Report reflected “incredibly terrible judgments, shockingly sparse concern for human life, instances of officials lacking the courage to exercise the responsibilities of their high office and some very bewildering thought processes.”

Wolcott said that she first met Smith in 1961 when she was 15, The Washington Post reported. He asked her to marry him six years later after he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy. She said the morning he died, they had spoken by phone and he told her it was too cold and “there’s no way we can go today.” She said he had written “I love you” notes to her and her children before he got on the shuttle that day.

She Was Honored in 2018 for Her Work Rescuing Animals

In 2018, Wolcott was honored by the Virginia Beach Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for her love of rescuing animals, The Virginian-Pilot reported. She said that dogs and cats filled her heart after Smith died. She said that when she moved to Virginia Beach in 1991, she brought a rabbit, horses, and multiple cats and dogs with her. She intentionally raised her children with pets, saying that an animal is “the greatest gift” a young child can have. Today, when she visits the shelter, she talks to every animal there.

Smith and Wolcott had three children according to his bio: Scott, Allison, and Erin. In 1996, The Washington Post reported that Erin loved to ride horses at the age of 18, Allison was 24 and married to a medical student and working as a teacher, and Scott was 27 and living in Boston with his wife.

Allison Balch's inspiring story-The tragedy of losing her father,Michael Smith pilot in the Space Shuttle Challenger

— Kelli Stevens (@kelli_stevens) March 18, 2016

In 2016, Balch attended a memorial for fallen astronauts on the 30th anniversary of the Challenger disaster, SpaceFlightNow reported.

In 2015, Balch said that it was touching “knowing how much my dad and the others were loved and looked up to and still that people remember,” CBS New York reported.

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NBA Hall of Famer Wants Giannis Antetokounmpo to Take THIS Valuable Lesson From Michael Jordans Career

Michael Jordan is the pinnacle of success that every player wants to achieve in the league. He not only won six championships but has an untainted finals record. But did you knew, it was not until Jordan turned 28 that he won his first-ever ring?

It’s quite easy to forget that Jordan struggled for the first seven years as a player. He built an enormous legacy in the latter half of his career. Right now, if there is any other player in the same situation as MJ, it’s Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The Greek Freak is already a two-time MVP winner at just 25 years of age and he is already an excellent regular season performer. But Giannis has yet to taste some success in the postseason. During his two MVP seasons, he has failed to make the NBA finals and as a result, rumors of him leaving the Bucks have started to surface.

However, NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley is completely against this slander. He said:

“These guys act like, if you don’t win a championship in like three years, I got to boat and join other stars. So, can you imagine, if Michael Jordan left the Bulls at 25? He didn’t win a championship till 28…I don’t want him to go and cheat and try join the other guys and win it, I want him to get better as a player.

“I would love to see Giannis and know, we are gonna win in Milwaukee. I could go to another team and team up with other guys and win, but it won’t be the same. That’s why I admire Dirk Nowitzki.”


— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) September 20, 2020

As Chuck said, Dirk Nowitzki never gave up on the Dallas Mavericks. He finally won it all in the 2011 season by defeating the mighty Miami Heat.

Will Giannis follow the same path as Michael Jordan? Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) reacts after making a basket against the Miami Heat during the first half of game four of the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Following the 2019-20 NBA playoffs exit, Giannis could demand a trade if he sees that fit for his career. However, all signs reflect that is not the case, at least for now. Giannis publicly admitted that he has no plans to leave the Bucks right now.

But, it is not a rare instance of seeing a player change his mind during free agency. We’ve seen that happen with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Paul George, and many more. If Giannis, indeed wants to spend his entire career with the Bucks, then the franchise has a lot of time on its hands.

They can spend the next few years building a better team for their superstar.

What do you think? Will Giannis Antetokounmpo stay with the Bucks for the foreseeable future? Or will he leave them hanging?

Aikansh Chaudhary

A vivid follower of Basketball, Cricket, and Football. Started writing as a passion now it is my bread and butter.

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