The Stafford Air & Space 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 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.
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 Stafford Air & Space Museum is located in Weatherford, Oklahoma, United States. The museum was named a Smithsonian Affiliate in June 2010. The museum features exhibits about aviation, space exploration and rocketry, and a collection of over 20 historic aircraft. Displays include artifacts from the Space Shuttle program, Hubble Space Telescope and the Mir Space Station, a Moon rock, a Titan II missile, a Mark 6 Re-entry vehicle and a Gemini spacecraft.
The center boasts one of the few actual Titan II launch vehicles on display. The huge rocket body crosses the back of a display gallery from one side of the building to the other. Numerous items acquired from the Smithsonian and on display include: a Gemini flight suit, space food, survival items flown to the Moon on Apollo 11, and the actual flight pressure suit Stafford wore on Apollo 10, the first flight of the lunar module to the moon. One display includes the hatch through which U.S. astronauts and Russian cosmonauts docked and greeted each other in space. Stafford is pictured reaching through the hatch shaking hands with a Russian cosmonaut. The actual uniforms that the two astronauts were wearing at the time are also on display.
Other exhibits include retired aircraft, such as a Russian MiG21R and an F16. Full-size replicas displayed include the Wright Flyer, Spirit of St. Louis, Apollo Command Module, and Gemini spacecraft. The museum also features the Rose & Tom Luczo Educational Center that features a flight simulation computer lab, kids library, and planetarium. Also on display is a TP-82 Russian triple-barreled survival pistol which was gifted to him by Alexey Leonov.