Stafford, Thomas P. | 1973
- Birth and Death Year | 1930 - Present
- Induction Year | 1973
- Profession | Astronaut
- Oklahoma Connection | Stafford was born in Weatherford, Oklahoma.
- Hometown | Weatherford
General Thomas Stafford’s Gemini 6 mission marked the first rendezvous in space and he commanded Apollo 10, which was the practice flight to test the lunar module for a moon landing by Apollo 11.
“I always knew I wanted to fly.” - Thomas P. Stafford
Oklahoma native and famed astronaut General Thomas P. Stafford graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1952 and joined the newly created United States Air Force before the National Space and Aeronautical Administration (NASA) selected him as a member of the second group of astronauts. He flew four missions and six rendezvous in space during the Gemini and Apollo programs. Stafford was also the commander of the U.S. Air Force Flight Test Center in 1975 and served as deputy chief of staff for research for the Air Force beginning in 1978. He achieved the highest military rank of any astronaut when he retired as lieutenant general in 1979. In 2003, he was honored as one of the 100 most significant figures in aviation history and has worked to develop the Thomas P. Stafford Air and Space Museum in Weatherford.