Thomas Stafford


Full Name: Thomas Patten Stafford
Born: September 17, 1930 in Weatherford, OK
Died: March 18, 2024
Joined NASA: September 17, 1962
Left NASA: November 1, 1975
Space Flights: 4
Time in Space: 21 days, 3 hours, 42 minutes


Gemini 3
Assignment: Back-up Pilot

Gemini 6
Assignment: Back-up Pilot

Gemini 6A
December 15-16, 1965
Assignment: Pilot
Flight Duration: 1 day, 1 hour, 51 minutes

Gemini 9
Assignment: Back-up Command Pilot

Gemini 9A
June 3-6, 1966
Assignment: Command Pilot
Flight Duration: 3 days, 20 minutes

Apollo 7
Assignment: Back-up Commander and Capcom

Apollo 10
May 18-26, 1969
Assignment: Commander
Flight Duration: 8 days, 3 minutes

Apollo-Soyuz Test Project
July 15-24, 1975
Assignment: Commander
Flight Duration: 9 days, 1 hour, 28 minutes


B.Sc., Science, US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD, 1952

Received USN pilots wings at Connally AFB, Waco, Texas, 1953.

Served as a fighter pilot with the USAF in the US and Germany until 1958.

Graduated from the USAF Experimental Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB, California in 1959, remaining there as an instructor until selection by NASA in 1962.

Assigned to communications, instrumentation and range integration for Project Gemini when selected by NASA.

1965, Pilot of Gemini 6A, the first mission to rendezvous with another manned space craft.

1966, Command Pilot of Gemini 9A in advanced rendezvous maneuvers with the Augmented Target Docking Adaptor(ATDA).

August 1966 to October 1968, head of mission planning analysis and software development for Project Apollo.

1969, CDR of Apollo 10, the dress rehearsal for the first manned lunar landing. Following the mission, Stafford was named Acting Chief of the Astronaut Office, replacing Al Shepard while he trained for Apollo 14.

1971, Named Deputy Director of Flight Crew Operations, assissting Deke Slayton.

1975, CDR of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, the first joint space mission with the Soviets.

Retired from NASA in November of 1975 to become the Commandant of the USAF Flight Test Center receiving a promotion to Major General.

1978, Promoted to Lieutenant General and named Deputy Chief of Staff, Research, Development and Acquisition at USAF HQ, Washington, D.C.

1979, retired from the USAF to co-found the technical consulting firm of Stafford, Burke & Hecker Inc., in Alexandria, Virginia.

Member of the Board of Directors of six different corporations.

Served as a consultant to the President in various capacities and to NASA for the co-ordination of Shuttle-Mir activities in the early to mid 1990’s.


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