93-Year-Old Oklahoma Astronaut In ICU

93-year-old General Thomas Stafford, former astronaut, is in the ICU.

Wednesday, November 29th 2023, 12:41 pm

By: News 9


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Friends and family of General Thomas Stafford are asking for thoughts and prayers as Stafford fights for his health in the ICU. The mayor of Weatherford, Oklahoma, says Stafford is showing small signs of improvement.

General Thomas P. Stafford is one of Oklahoma’s most accomplished astronauts. Stafford is 93 years old.

Stafford was born in Weatherford, Oklahoma, in 1930. He graduated from Weatherford High School in 1948, according to the Air Force.

Stafford graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1952 with honors, and commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force, according to the Air Force.

Stafford became a pilot, flight leader and flight test maintenance officer, the Air Force says. 

Stafford was selected for the second group of astronauts for the Gemini and Apollo missions in 1962, according to the Air Force. In 1965, Stafford conducted the first rendezvous in space, and helped NASA improve the practice of space rendezvous.

Stafford was a commander in the 1969 Apollo X mission in which man first went to the moon, according to the Air Force. Stafford did not actually land on the moon, but he performed the whole moon-landing mission except the moon landing, the Air Force says.

The Guinness Book of World Records recognises Stafford for the highest reentry speed of any manned spacecraft during the Apollo missions.

From there, Stafford became the deputy director of flight crew operations for NASA.

In his fourth space flight, Stafford met Soviet cosmonauts during the Soyuz Test Project mission in space. This marked a change in space exploration, joining US and Russian interest in mutual future space explorations, according to the Air Force.

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