NASA announced the passing of Frank Borman at the age of 95. Borman was a member of the Apollo 8 mission, which successfully orbited the moon.
NASA reported that Borman passed away on Tuesday in Billings, Montana.
According to NASA administrator Bill Nelson’s statement, Borman is highly regarded as one of the best individuals at NASA and a genuine American hero. Nelson also mentioned that Borman’s passion for aviation and exploration was only second to his love for his wife Susan.
In 1968, Apollo 8 became the first NASA mission to depart from low Earth orbit and successfully reach the moon. Astronauts Borman, Lovell, and Anders orbited the moon 10 times before returning to Earth. This allowed them to witness the far side of the moon, making them the first humans to do so. During this mission, Anders took the famous photo “Earthrise,” which shows the Earth partially obscured by shadow above the moon’s horizon.
Ten years later, Borman received the Congressional Space Medal of Honor for his participation in the mission.
Borman was born in the city of Gary, Indiana and grew up in Tucson, Arizona.
In 1950, he received a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Military Academy and also started working in the Air Force.
According to Nelson, his passion for flying was crucial in his roles as a fighter pilot, operational pilot, test pilot, and assistant professor. His extensive knowledge and skills made him a top candidate for NASA’s selection to join the second group of astronauts.
Before the Apollo program, Borman participated in the Gemini 7 mission in 1965. During this mission, he and Lovell completed 206 orbits around the Earth over a period of almost 14 days and, along with Gemini 6, were involved in NASA’s inaugural space rendezvous.
Borman served as a member of the Apollo 204 Fire Investigation Board, tasked with examining the fire that occurred during a launch rehearsal on Apollo 1, resulting in the tragic deaths of astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger B. Chaffee.
After leaving the Air Force in 1970, Borman transitioned to a role as senior vice president for operations at Eastern Airlines. He initially joined the company as a special advisor in 1969 and steadily climbed the corporate ladder, ultimately attaining the position of CEO in 1975.
Additionally, Borman held positions on multiple corporate boards, such as Home Depot and National Geographic. He was also the CEO of Patlex Corporation from 1988 to 1996.
Aside from receiving multiple accolades, he was also admitted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1993. The stretch of Interstate 94 from Lake Station, Indiana, to the Illinois state line was designated as the Frank Borman Expressway as a tribute to him.