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 surly bonds of Earth on a journey that would take him to the moon.
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.
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 Sunday, 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 stated.
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 seven 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 19, 2019 at 2:00pm. Admission is $20.00 for adults and $10.00 for students (12 and under) with all proceeds benefiting the museum's Legacy Campaign for the new 20,000 square foot expansion.
Individuals can purchase tickets online at staffordmuseum.org, in person at the Stafford Museum, or at the front door before the event. 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.