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Featured items: Gen. Tom Stafford Collection of space artifacts

Robert Eaton
10 min read
Gen. Tom Stafford's Apollo 10 Lunar Orbit Flown American Flag RR Auction

Above: Gen. Tom Stafford’s Apollo 10 Lunar Orbit Flown American Flag. Offered by RR Auction.

Hero of the US space race

NASA astronaut Gen. Thomas P. Stafford
Official NASA portrait of astronaut Gen. Thomas P. Stafford.

At 87, Gen. Tom Stafford is a living legend.

Born Sept. 17, 1930 in the dusty, windy town of Weatherford, Oklahoma, Thomas P. Stafford would grow up in the Dust Bowl and Depression. His mother came to Oklahoma in a covered wagon and lived to see her only child fly to the moon.

Gen. Tom Stafford was a NASA astronaut, Air Force officer, test pilot and pioneer in the American space race. His missions included Gemini 6A, Gemini 9, Apollo 10 and the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project – three of them as Mission Commander. A Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Gen. Stafford is the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, and the Oklahoma Aviator of the Century award.

Our April Space auction (preview begins March 16; bidding from April 12-19) features several historic artifacts from the personal collection of General Thomas P. Stafford. Proceeds from the sale of Gen. Stafford’s items will benefit the expansion and renovation fund for the Stafford Air and Space Museum, located along historic Route 66 in Oklahoma.


About the Stafford Air and Space Museum

Celebrating 25 years of curating space exploration, the SASM has created the Legacy Campaign to raise funds for exterior and interior renovations to the museum, as well as adding an 18,000 sq. ft. expansion which will enable hundreds of additional historic artifacts to be displayed. Four planned new exhibits are NASA’s actual Space Shuttle Fixed Base Simulator; USAF Fairchild Republic A-10 “Warthog” attack aircraft; F-1 rocket engines used during Apollo 11 launch; and a full-scale replica of the Apollo 10 Lunar Module “Snoopy.”

The museum hopes to double its current visitors to 50,000 annually, with the development of new exhibits that are immersive, interactive and high-tech, as well as refurbishing its current galleries.


“This museum is not about me! It is dedicated to the American spirit of dreaming the impossible, and making those dreams happen… I grew up in a small western Oklahoma town during the Dust Bowl and Depression, and I flew to the moon.
I’m living proof that nothing is impossible!”

– Gen. Tom Stafford


How the auction will help

The fund’s goal is to raise $3 million and have construction complete by May 2019 – the 50th anniversary of Gen. Tom Stafford’s historic Apollo 10 flight to the moon. Your purchase will help that. The hammer price, minus the auction estimate, is considered a tax-deductible donation to the SASM; winning bidders should contact the museum for a donation letter.

For more about SASM, visit their website.

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