HISTORY

/HISTORY
HISTORY 2017-08-11T04:13:29+00:00

The Stafford Air & Space Museum began with a simple display case in the Weatherford Airport terminal and has grown to become one of the premier educational attractions in western Oklahoma! The museum has worked closely with the Smithsonian Institution, NASA, and the U.S. Air Force Museum to assemble one of the finest collections of aerospace artifacts in the central United States. 

The Stafford Air & Space Museum is named in honor of famed test pilot and astronaut Lt. General Thomas P. Stafford. Stafford was born in 1930 and raised in Weatherford, OK. His mother came to Oklahoma in a covered wagon and lived to see her only child fly to the moon. Stafford was selected by NASA in the second group of astronauts in 1962. He would fly 4 historic space missions (Gemini 6, Gemini 9, Apollo 10, and Apollo-Soyuz), three of them as mission Commander. For his efforts as Joint Commander of the U.S. and Soviet Apollo-Soyuz mission, Stafford received a Nobel Peace Prize nomination. Stafford is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, and the Oklahoma Aviator of the Century award.

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Named a Smithsonian Affiliate in 2011, the museum houses over an acre of exhibits under roof and showcases thousands of items representing the evolution of aviation and spaceflight. Examples include a ten-story Titan II rocket, actual space suits – including Stafford’s flown Apollo 10 pressure suit, an Apollo Command & Service Module, and one of the most impressive collections of rocket engines in the world. Highlights are a gigantic F-1 from the Saturn V, a flown Shuttle Main Engine, and a flown segment of a Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster you can walk through. Aircraft displays include an actual Sopwith Pup, F-86, F-104, T-33, T-38, F-16, and a rare MIG-21. Full-scale replicas of the Wright Flyer, Bleriot and Spirit of St. Louis can also be viewed.

The museum’s newest outdoor display has already become an iconic monument for the region.  Situated just outside the museum’s front entrance, one of the most revolutionary aircraft ever built, the Lockheed F-104 “Starfighter,” now points majestically six stories straight up into the sky!

 The museum is a 501 (c ) 3 nonprofit organization, and operated by the City of Weatherford, Oklahoma.

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