Remembering Frank Borman: Legendary Apollo Astronaut Passes Away at 95

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A captivating image of astronaut Frank Borman, command pilot for the Gemini-7 spaceflight, looking over the Gemini-7 spacecraft during weight and balance tests.

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Apollo astronaut Col. Frank Borman, who commanded the first mission to orbit the moon, has died in Billings, Montana, NASA announced. He was 95.

“Today we remember one of NASA’s best. Astronaut Frank Borman was a true American hero. Among his many accomplishments, he served as the commander of the Apollo 8 mission, humanity’s first mission around the Moon in 1968,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson Thursday in a statement.

“In addition to his critical role as commander of the Apollo 8 mission, he is a veteran of Gemini 7, spending 14 days in low-Earth orbit and conducting the first rendezvous in space, coming within a few feet of the Gemini 6 spacecraft,” Nelson said.


Arrayed in an iconic picture from left to right are Frank Borman, commander of 3-man Apollo 8 crew, William A. Anders and James A. Lovell, Jr. on December 21, 1968, before their orbital flight around the moon.

Borman died November 7, according to the statement.

In 1967, Borman was a member of the Apollo 204 review board, which investigated a fire that killed three astronauts on Apollo I, according to NASA’s short biography. Borman would later lead the team that reengineered the Apollo spacecraft.

Borman continued his aviation work following his NASA career as the CEO of Eastern Airlines, according to the statement.

His death follows that of Apollo astronaut Thomas K. Mattingly II, who died October 31 at the age of 87.


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