The National Academy of Engineering has announced Thomas P. Stafford from Weatherford, Oklahoma elected as a prestigious new member.
He was selected for leadership in the development of rendezvous and docking technologies for the Apollo and Apollo/Soyuz programs.
Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature,” and to the “pioneering of developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.”
THOMAS P. STAFFORD
Stafford was born in Weatherford, Oklahoma to Thomas and Mary Ellen Stafford. After graduating from Weatherford High, Stafford attended the U.S. Naval Academy and served in the U.S. Air Force, reaching the rank of Lt. General. During that career, Stafford served as an astronaut for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) flying in four different space missions. Stafford served as pilot on Gemini 6A, which flew from December 15-16, 1965, achieving the first rendezvous in space. Stafford commanded Gemini 9A June 3-6, 1966 accomplishing another rendezvous and assisted pilot Gene Cernan as he performed a space walk for a full orbit. On Apollo X from May 18-26, 1969, Stafford commanded the crucial dress rehearsal for the first moon landing, mapping and photographing the landing site for Apollo XI and testing out the Lunar Module in Lunar orbit for the first time. Stafford’s final mission was the Apollo Soyuz Test Project from July 15-24, 1975 when he commanded the first international flight with the Soviet Union. After his space career, Stafford served the Air Force by taking command at Edwards AFB and serving in the Pentagon. While there, Stafford began the Stealth Technology program for the United States.
Founded in 1964, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) is a private, independent, nonprofit institution that provides engineering leadership in service to the nation. The mission of the National Academy of Engineering is to advance the well-being of the nation by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and by marshalling the expertise and insights of eminent engineers to provide independent advice to the federal government on matters involving engineering and technology.
The NAE is a member of the National Academies, which includes the NAE, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the Institute of Medicine (IOM), and the National Research Council (NRC)— which serves as the principal operating arm of the academies. The NAE operates under the same congressional act of incorporation that established the National Academy of Sciences, signed in 1863 by President Lincoln. Under this charter the NAE is directed “whenever called upon by any department or agency of the government, to investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art.”