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|Thomas Patten Stafford
Gemini and Apollo astronaut
Born September 17, 1930, in Weatherford, Oklahoma.
Married Faye L. Shoemaker. Two daughters, Dionne Kay and Karin Elaine.
Married Linda Ann Dishman. Two adopted sons, Michael Thomas and Stanislav Patten.
Weatherford (Oklahoma) High School
Received his pilot wings at Connally Air Force Base, Waco, Texas, in September 1953.
Completed advanced interceptor training and assigned to the 54th Flight Interceptor Squadron, Ellsworth Air Force Base, Rapid City, South Dakota.
December 1955, assigned to the 496th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Hahn Air Base, Germany, where he performed the duties of pilot, flight leader, and flight test maintenance office, flying F-86Ds.
Attended the USAF Experimental Test Pilot School and received The A.B. Honts Award as the Outstanding Graduate. Became an instructor in flight test training and specialized academic subjects, establishing basic textbooks and directing the writing of flight test manuals for use by the staff and students.
Co-author of the Pilot's Handbook for Performance Flight Testing and the Aerodynamics Handbook for Performance Flight Testing.
Assumed command of the Air Force Flight Test Center November 4, 1975.
Promoted to the grade of Major General August 9, 1975, with date of rank of June 1, 1973.
Promoted to Lieutenant General on March 15, 1978.
On May 1, 1978, assumed the duties as the Deputy Chief of Staff, Research, Development and Acquisition, in Washington, D.C.
Retired from the Air Force in November 1979.
Part of the second group of astronauts selected in September 1962.
Gemini VI (December 1965)
Gemini IX (June 1966)
August 1966 to October 1968, headed the mission planning analysis and software development responsibilities for the astronaut group for Project Apollo.
Apollo 10 (May 18-26, 1969)
Assigned as head of the Apollo and Skylab astronaut group in June 1969, responsible for coordination, scheduling, and control of all activities involving NASA astronauts.
June 1971, assigned as Deputy Director of Flight Crew Operations at the NASA Manned Space flight Center, responsible for assisting the director in planning and implementation of programs for the astronaut group, the Aircraft Operations, Flight Crew Integration, Flight Crew Procedures, and Crew Simulation and Training Divisions.
Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (July 15-24, 1975)
Logged a total of 507 hours 43 minutes in space flight.
Post-Space Flight Career
Defense advisor to Governor Ronald Reagan during the 1980 presidential campaign and a member of the Reagan Presidential transition team.
Served on the National Research Council's Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board; the Committee on NASA Scientific and Technological Program Reviews and Vice President Quayle's Space Policy Advisory Council.
Chairman of the NASA Advisory Council Task Force on Shuttle-Mir Rendezvous and Docking Missions.
Co-Chairman of the Stafford-Covey Space Shuttle Return to Flight Task Group after the Shuttle Columbia accident.
Chairman of the Operations Oversight Committee of the first Hubble Telescope Spacecraft Servicing and Repair Mission that corrected the design and manufacturing defect of the instrument.
Chaired the team that completed the study called "America at the Threshold", a road map for the next 30 years of the U.S. Manned Space Flight Program (1990-1991).
Co-founded the Technical Consulting Firm of Stafford, Burke, and Hecker, Inc. in Alexandria, Virginia.
Chairman of the NASA Advisory Council Task Force for ISS Safety and Operational Readiness.
fellow, American Astronautical Society
Awards and Honors
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters
4 NASA Distinguished Service Medals
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
(AIAA) Chanute Flight Award
Aerospace Walk of Honor, 1997
several honorary doctorates
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This page was last updated on 04/10/2018.