Stafford Air and Space Museum Presents: An Afternoon with General Thomas P. Stafford
On May 18, 1969, Weatherford native,
General Thomas P. Stafford, was tasked to command one of the most important
missions in spaceflight history, the historic Apollo 10 mission. As Stafford sat
atop a 36 story Saturn V rocket, this small town kid from western Oklahoma
would leave the surely bonds of Earth on a journey that would take him to the
Stafford, along with his crewmates,
Gene Cernan and John Young, would perform a full “dress rehearsal” for the
first Moon landing on this critical flight. They would conduct the last check of literally
thousands of procedures and millions of parts and pieces that had to work
perfectly before an actual lunar landing could be attempted. Without the
success of Apollo 10, Neil Armstrong would not have been able to set foot on
the moon just two short months later.
This May marks the 50th Anniversary
of Apollo 10, and the Stafford Air and Space Museum is excited to host An Afternoon with General Thomas P. Stafford
on May 19, 2019 in honor of his flight! As Stafford’s first public appearance
in Weatherford in nearly 10 years, this will be a rare opportunity to see a
living legend and hear first-hand accounts of his mission.
Stafford, a veteran astronaut by the
time he flew on Apollo 10, had flown on two previous flights, Gemini 6 and
Gemini 9. The only Apollo missions whose crews were made up entirely of spaceflight
veterans was Apollo 10 and Apollo 11, as these two flights were vital for our
space program and landing man on the moon.
“If there is one
human being who is probably more responsible for me to be here today saying I
was able to call the moon my home, its Tom Stafford,” former crewmate Gene Cernan
During the Apollo 10 mission, Stafford became the first astronaut to
command a Lunar Module into orbit around the moon. On their return to Earth,
the crew set the all-time human speed record re-entering Earth’s atmosphere at
an astounding 24,791 miles per hour. At that incredible speed, it would take an
individual only 7 seconds to get from Weatherford to Oklahoma City!
General Stafford is now the fastest
man alive, as Gene Cernan and John Young have both passed on. As the only
remaining crew member of Apollo 10 still living, Stafford’s time is precious which
makes this event even more special.
The event will take place at the
Weatherford High School Performing Arts Center on May 19th at
2:00pm. Admission is $20.00 for adults and $10.00 for students (12 and under) with
all proceeds going to the museum’s Legacy Campaign for the new 20,000 square
Individuals can purchase tickets
online at staffordmuseum.org, at Stafford Air and Space Museum, or at the door.
Members receive Free Admission. Memberships start as low as $45 a year. For further questions or to buy a membership
please contact the museum at 580-772-5871.