Toasting a Legacy

The following story is from the Weatherford Daily News –

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Astronaut Tom Stafford, Cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov, and Astronaut Alan bean toast to the legacy of the Apollo-Soyuz Mission at the Gala Monday evening.

Weatherford, OK – An evening of celebration relishing the 40th anniversary of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Mission ended with a series of celebratory toasts and wishes to good health in the future.

Russian cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov raised a glass toasting to what he said was a wonderful event and to the opportunity to celebrate the 50th anniversary in ten years. A very large bottle of scotch nearly one-third full filled the shot glasses of Stafford, Leonov and fellow U.S. Astronaut Alan Bean as they toasted their friendships and successes of the space program and its contributions to society.

“We hunted together, we fished together and we’ve had a few drinks together. We are like brothers,” Stafford said about Leonov.

“Russians like scotch… Aleksei had a great idea and said ‘Say, why don’t we write our names on the bottle and the last one left alive will drink it.’ So, let’s take a drink tonight so that the last one left alive will not have to drink that much,” Stafford added.

Stafford said, “It is so wonderful we can have this reunion in this museum in Weatherford.”

“We hope this is the start of something that will not only take us back to the moon but to mars,”  said Stafford.

The evening was called a very deserved salute to the mission and those who made it possible with a host of impressive dignitaries of the space programs and numerous Russian guests.

Among those dignitaries attending were Leonov, Stafford, Gemini and Apollo astronaut Gene Cernan, Apollo and Shuttle Astronaut and fighter pilot Joe Engle, Shuttle Astronaut John Herrington, Skylab Astronaut Owen Garriott, Apollo Astronaut and fighter pilot Walt Cunningham, Apollo Astronaut Alan Bean, Apollo Astronaut Fred Haise, Shuttle Astronaut Cady Coleman, First Nurse to NASA Dee O’Hara.

Other guests of honor were widow of Apollo astronaut Ron Evans, Jan Evans, widow of Gemini Astronaut Clifton C. Williams, Beth Williams and NASA engineers Glynn Lunney and Tom Weichel.

By | 2017-08-11T04:13:30+00:00 June 11th, 2015|Home, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Toasting a Legacy

Stafford Museum Celebrates Apollo-Soyuz 40th Anniversary

SASM 40th Anniversary Gala

Weatherford, OK   (June 2, 2015)  On June 8, 2015, Apollo and Shuttle astronauts from across the country will gather at the Stafford Air and Space Museum in Weatherford, Oklahoma for a gala event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.  Astronaut Thomas P. Stafford and Cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov of the mission will be guests of honor at the gala.  The Apollo-Soyuz mission was the last of the Apollo missions and the first international human space flight.  For the mission, the United States and the Soviet Union joined forces to demonstrate cooperation between the two super powers.  The historic nine day mission launched on July 15, 1975 and marked the end of the Space Race.


After three years of planning, each nation launched its own spacecraft on July 15, 1975 with the goal of the two crafts connecting in space using a docking mechanism designed by NASA.  The US launched an Apollo command and service module with a three member crew and the Soviets launched a Soyuz spacecraft with a two member crew. On July 17 at 4:19 p.m. (UTC), the spacecrafts docked together and the portal connecting the two opened.  As the world watched, U.S. Commander Thomas P. Stafford and Soviet Commander Aleksei Leonov engaged in the famous “handshake in space” – the symbol both countries were seeking.   Many historians credit this mission as the beginning to the end of the Cold War between the two nations.


Joining Commander Stafford onboard the Apollo were astronauts Deke Slayton and Vance Brand.  The Commander for the Russian Soyuz mission was Aleksei Leonov, the first man to walk in space.   Valeria Kubasov served as the Flight Engineer, his second mission into space.   During preparations for the epic mission, both groups studied each other’s language and traveled to both countries to learn more about each other including trips to Disneyland in America and Star City in Russia.  Commanders Stafford and Leonov have remained good friends since the historic mission.


General Thomas P. Stafford was born and raised in Weatherford, Oklahoma.   He was selected by NASA in 1962 to participate in Projects Gemini and Apollo and was named Commander of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project mission.   He was later nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in this mission and was presented with the Russian Medal “For merit in Space Exploration” for outstanding contribution for the development of international cooperation in manned space flight.   He also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal.


The Stafford Air and Space Museum will host the evening’s celebration on Monday, June 8th to pay tribute to this monumental spaceflight and the last of the Apollo missions.   The exclusive event is sold out.


The Stafford Air & Space Museum houses one of the finest collections of aviation and space flight exhibits in the Central United States including the Apollo 10 spacesuit worn by General Stafford on his historic mission to the Moon in 1969.  The museum is located at 3000 Logan Rd. at I-40 & Exit 84 in Weatherford, OK, 73096.





By | 2017-08-11T04:13:30+00:00 June 2nd, 2015|Home, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Stafford Museum Celebrates Apollo-Soyuz 40th Anniversary

Stafford Museum on History Channel

IMG_0797The Stafford Air and Space Museum is proud to share with everyone its latest television appearance. Beginning on May 6th, on The History Channel, a new television series entitled “Monument Guys” will debut. The Stafford Museum, General Stafford, and many citizens of Weatherford will all be featured in the second episode airing on May 13th.

Filming for the show first took place at the museum last fall and wrapped up its segment in December with a statue dedication to General Stafford held at the museum. Many museum members, donors, friends, and guests were present during the ceremony and the filming. 

The series is scheduled to air beginning May 6, at 10pm est / 9pm central time. 

By | 2017-08-11T04:13:30+00:00 May 6th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Stafford Museum on History Channel

Stafford Museum Awarded Google Grant


Stafford Air and Space Museum announced that it has received a $10,000 grant from Google Ad Grants.   This generous in-kind grant will give the museum added exposure on the popular Google search engine.  The museum can use the funds towards search engine marketing using the popular Google Adwords platform.  The ads can be targeted to certain search terms and also to specific geographic areas to make the best use of the funds.

The grant comes at a good time as the month of April kicks off the busy tourist season for the Stafford Air and Space Museum.   Located along the nation’s historic Route 66, each year the museum receives thousands of visitors whose vacation plans include a road trip along the famous highway.   It’s also a popular destination for school groups across the state of Oklahoma for their annual field trips at the museum.   This Google Grant comes along at the perfect time to help alert potential visitors, both children and adults, to log on to the museum’s website and learn about all the exciting programs that will be offered in the coming months.

The Stafford Air and Space Museum houses one of the finest collections of aviation and space flight exhibits in the Central United States including the Apollo 10 spacesuit worn by General Stafford on his historic mission to the Moon in 1969.

By | 2017-08-11T04:13:30+00:00 April 1st, 2015|Home, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Stafford Museum Awarded Google Grant

F-16 Canopy Replaced


Museum Volunteer Jim Friesen works on the F-16 canopy.

In late February, the Stafford Air and Space Museum along with a few Museum Volunteers began work on the F-16 Fighting Falcon Jet’s canopy. The Jet, partially developed under the direction of General Tom Stafford, still serves today as one of America’s front-line fighter aircraft. The Museum’s F-16 original canopy was showing signs of distress, fading, and peeling due to being outside in direct sunlight for years before coming to the museum on loan from the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. The Museum obtained a new clear canopy (no tint had been applied to this canopy) to install on the F-16. Work began two weeks ago and now the F-16’s new canopy is installed. Come see the F-16 and more aircraft inside the Stafford Air and Space Museum.


The new canopy installed on the F-16.


By | 2017-08-11T04:13:30+00:00 March 10th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on F-16 Canopy Replaced

Replica Bell X-1Landing Soon at the Museum

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The Museum’s X-1 model will be featured in the X-1 Exhibit. The replica is being created based off the actual Bell X-1’s original blueprints.

The plane that broke the sound barrier is now breaking ground inside the Stafford Air and Space Museum.

Due to arrive this month, the newest exhibit to be permanently featured inside the Stafford Museum, is the highly anticipated, high-fidelity, full scale replica of the Bell X-1. Nicknamed the “Glamorous Glennis” and flown by Pilot Chuck Yeager, the X-1 broke the sound barrier, reaching speeds of over 950 mph in October 1947.

The complete Bell X-1 exhibit is made possible by funding from General Tom Stafford. The Stafford Air and Space Museum will oversee installing and displaying of the replica once it arrives at the museum.

The replica is being built by Arizona Aircraft Replicas, in Scottsdale, AZ. It is modeled after the actual X-1, using the aircraft’s original blueprints. The real X-1 is currently on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. The museum’s replica will also feature a mannequin of Pilot Chuck Yeager in the cockpit. The Bell X-1 replica will weigh approximately 2,000lbs.

The museum has been preparing for the addition of the X-1 since last November when General Stafford requested the replica be included in the museum. The location of the X-1 will be in the Modern Aircraft Gallery joining the four actual airplanes, including a Russian MiG-21 Fighter Jet, as the final gallery in the museum. It will be suspended from the ceiling and will have a full interpretation and exhibit below it.

A grand opening of the Bell X-1 exhibit is planned for later this year once the exhibit is near completion.


By | 2017-08-11T04:13:30+00:00 February 11th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Replica Bell X-1Landing Soon at the Museum

Weighing Moon Rocks

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Lunar Sample Scale


One of the great technological challenges to sending humans to the moon was the fact that virtually every piece of the millions of pieces of hardware needed had to be designed from scratch.  Almost nothing existed that could be used to get astronauts safely to the moon and back, and to live in the extremely hostile environment of space.  Even something as simple as a spring scale for weighing items proved to be a challenge.


It was critically important for Mission Control and the astronauts to know exactly the weight of their spacecraft.  This was especially critical for the astronauts on the moon when they had to launch off the surface to rejoin their crewmate awaiting them in lunar orbit to bring them home.  Weight was everything.  Too much of it, and they would be stranded on the moon without a chance of rescue.  When the astronauts landed, they were near maximum weight for their small ascent engine to get them back off the moon.  The challenge was how do they bring back several hundred pounds of priceless moon rocks and still get off the moon?


They way NASA solved this was for the astronauts to throw out on the lunar surface every piece of hardware they no longer needed before they lifted off.  Large items, like their backpacks, tools, even their cameras were left behind to lighten the load.  NASA knew exactly how much these discarded items weighed.  What they did not know was how much the gathered moon rocks were going to weigh.


To deal with this, NASA developed a special spring scale for the astronauts to use inside of the Lunar Module to weigh each lunar sample to make sure they had not become overweight.  This, itself, became a small engineering challenge.   The “weight” of an object is totally dependent on the amount of gravitational force working on it.  The problem was the moon’s gravity was only 1/6th that of Earth’s, which made a normal spring scale unusable on the moon.  NASA engineers developed a one-of-a-kind scale just for use in the low gravity environment of the moon.


Tucked away in an exhibit case in the museum’s Apollo Gallery is one of the few remaining lunar surface scales left in existence.  It is on loan to the museum from the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum, and represents the fact that in the quest of the exploration of space, nothing is simple.

By | 2017-08-11T04:13:30+00:00 February 2nd, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Weighing Moon Rocks

A Look Inside the Museum

Featured in our monthly newsletter The Stafford Transmission.

Apollo communications cableThe Stafford Air and Space Museum is filled with a huge collection of extraordinary artifacts representing the history of manned spaceflight. Many of these artifacts are small, innocuous looking pieces that can easily be overlooked by our visitors, but, in actuality have great human stories associated with them.

A good example is a coiled white cloth covered cable on display in the Apollo Gallery. Labeled as a “CCU Cable,” this was an important component of one of the most historic voyages in the history of human exploration.

In December 1968, NASA launched the Apollo 8 mission to the moon. Crewed by astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders, this high risk mission would be the first time that humans would attempt to break away from Earth’s gravity and fly to another world. On the way out on their quarter of million mile journey to the moon, the astronauts turned their cameras back toward their home planet, and for the first time, humans saw the complete sphere of the Earth illuminated against the unimaginable vastness of the universe. All of a sudden, people no longer saw our planet as a group of warring, selfish nations, separated by manmade boundaries, but as a tiny, fragile, sobering, awe-inspiring experience that led to some of the greatest cultural, religious, political, and scientific enlightenments and reexaminations in the history of mankind. It was a watershed moment for the human species.

As they watched views unfold before them that no human had ever seen before, the astronauts struggled to describe through their radio communication what they were seeing to everyone on Earth. Those historic communications were all passed to the spacecraft cables worn by each astronaut. The cable displayed at the Stafford Museum is one of the actual cables used by the Apollo 8 astronauts during their historic mission.


We came all this way to explore the Moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth,” Bill Anders


By | 2017-08-11T04:13:30+00:00 January 12th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on A Look Inside the Museum

2014 – a look in pictures


2014 – A look back into a great year. Thanks to all our members, friends, guests, employees, everyone for a great year! Here we go to 2015!









Apollo 13 movie night and Yuri’s Night – April 2014



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Volunteer Recognition Event – April 2014








Burcham Elementary School Visit – September 2014










John Herrington at Stories at the Stafford – November 2014


By | 2017-08-11T04:13:30+00:00 January 5th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on 2014 – a look in pictures

Christmas Story Time

Picture1To help make time go faster for children who are anxiously waiting for Santa Claus to arrive, the Stafford Museum will host a Christmas Story Time at the museum on Tuesday, December 23rd, at 2pm. . The story time will be held in the museum’s lobby around the 12 foot high Christmas Tree beautifully decorated by the museum staff. Children can seat around the tree and hear classic Christmas tales read aloud by Morgan McCown, a Stafford Scholar who is employed at the museum. Then near the end of story time Santa Claus will appear one last time for children to visit with him and take pictures before he heads to the North Pole for preparations for Christmas Eve! Everyone with small children is invited and the event is free for all.

By | 2017-08-11T04:13:30+00:00 December 18th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Christmas Story Time