Thomas P. Stafford
Lieutenant General, U.S. Air Force (Retired)

Born September 17, 1930, Weatherford, Oklahoma
Bachelor of Science from U.S. Naval Academy

About The Man

After graduating from Weatherford High School, in Weatherford, Oklahoma, Thomas Stafford attended the United States Naval Academy. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1952, graduating with honors.

Stafford received his pilot wings at Connally AFB, Waco, Texas, in September 1953. After completing advanced interceptor training, he was assigned to the 54th Flight Interceptor Squadron at Ellsworth AFB in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Stafford served with the 496th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Hahn Air Base, in Germany. He was a pilot, flight leader, and flight test maintenance officer, flying F-86Ds, He became an instructor in flight test training and specialized academic subjects-establishing basic textbooks.

Stafford also directed the writing of flight test manuals for use by the staff and students. He is co-author of the Pilot's Handbook for Performance Flight Testing and the Aerodynamics Handbook for Performance Flight Testing. NASA selected Tom Stafford to be an astronaut in September of 1962.

About The Spaceflights

Gemini 6

Dec 15-16, 1965

Gemini 6's mission was to perform the first rendezvous and docking between different spacecraft. In less than six hours after launching, Schirra and pilot astronaut Stafford completed a non-docking orbital rendezvous with astronauts Frank Borman and James A. Lovell, Jr., aboard Gemini 7. After sixteen orbits, Gemini 6 splashed down on December 16th in the Atlantic Ocean.

Flight Duration: One day, One hour, Fifty-one minutes, and Twenty-four seconds

Gemini 9

June 3-6, 1966

During the flight of Gemini 9, Astronauts Stafford and Cernan performed a number of rendezvous maneuvers, including a simulation of lunar module rendezvous. Cernan performed extravehicular activites, EVA, for two hours and seven minutes.

Flight Duration: Three days, 0 hours, Twenty minutes, Fifty seconds

Apollo 10

May 18-26, 1969

On his third flight, Young was command module pilot of Apollo 10. Apollo 10 was a 'dress rehearsal' for a lunar landing mission. The astronauts named the CSM, Charlie Brown, and the LEM, Snoopy.

Astronauts Young, Stafford and Cernan demonstrated the performance of the Lunar Excursion Module, LM, and the Command/Service Module, CSM in the gravitational field of the Moon.

The Apollo 10 evaluated both the CSM and LEM docked and undocked lunar navigation. The Apollo 10 crew orbited the Moon a total of thity-one times in a little over sixty-one hours. They took the LEM to within 50,000 feet of the Moon's surface. They performed the entire lunar landing mission except the actual landing.

The astronauts of Apollo 10 gave the first live color broadcast from space. Apollo 10 splashed down on May 26, 1969. Two months later, NASA would send Apollo 11 to the moon for the first lunar landing.

Flight Duration: Eight days, zero hours, three minutes, and twenty-three seconds

Apollo-Soyus Test Project

July 15 to 24, 1975

The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project was the First International Manned Spaceflight. Slayton was launched as the first Apollo Docking Module Pilot for ASTP. The flight ended with the first meeting in space between American astronauts and Soviet Cosmonauts. Two days after liftoff Apollo and Soyuz 19 rendezvoused and docked over Europe. For forty-four hours, the ships remained connected.

The Apollo crew conducted crew transfers with cosmonauts Aleksey A. Leonov and Valeriy Kubasov. The crews also completed a number of joint scientific experiments and engineering investigations. They also tested a compatible rendezvous system and androgynous docking assemblies in orbit.

Flight Duration: Nine days, Six hours, Twenty-eight minues, and Twenty-three seconds


Crew of Apollo-Soyuz Portrait

Click on the patches to read about Tom Stafford's historic spaceflights
in more detail at NASA's Kennedy Space Center Website.

   


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