Apollo 10 captain Thomas Stafford passes away at the age of 93.

On Monday, astronaut Thomas P. Stafford died after leading a dress rehearsal flight for the 1969 moon landing and the first U.S.-Soviet space linkup. He was 93.

Four space missions were flown by retired Air Force three-star general Stafford. 

His two Gemini flights included the first U.S. 

capsule rendezvous in orbit before Apollo 10. He died in a hospital near his Space Coast Florida home, said Stafford Air & Space Museum director Max Ary in Weatherford, Oklahoma.

Stafford was among 24 NASA astronauts who traveled to the moon but did not land. 

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson tweeted, “Today General Tom Stafford went to the eternal heavens which he so courageously explored as a Gemini and Apollo astronaut as well as a peacemaker in Apollo Soyuz.

Those of us privileged to know him are very sad but grateful we knew a giant.”

After retiring his flying suit, NASA turned to Stafford for independent opinion on human Mars missions, safety, and resuming to flight after the 2003 space shuttle Columbia catastrophe. 

Images of Jupiter’s massive storms captured by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope 

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