Frank Borman, a former NASA astronaut renowned for his leadership during the groundbreaking Apollo 8 mission, which marked humanity’s first voyage around the moon, has passed away at the age of 95 in Billings, Montana, as confirmed by the space agency.
In 1968, Mr. Borman, alongside two fellow astronauts, achieved the historic feat of becoming the first humans to witness the far side of the Moon during the Apollo 8 expedition.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson paid tribute to Mr. Borman, describing him as “one of NASA’s finest” and a “true American hero” deeply devoted to his work.
Nelson also highlighted Borman’s unwavering passion for aviation and exploration, noting that his love for his wife, Susan, was equally profound.
Mr. Borman once articulated the significance of exploration in uniting humanity, stating, “Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit.”
Apollo 8 marked a pivotal moment in space history as it signified the first occasion when humans ventured beyond Earth’s orbit, temporarily losing sight of their home planet.
During this mission, Frank Borman’s colleague, William Anders, captured the iconic Earthrise photograph, depicting the Earth suspended above the lunar surface of the Moon.
This image, renowned as the first color photo of Earth from space, is often credited with catalyzing the environmental movement.
Frank Borman’s career commenced in the Air Force in 1950, where he served as a fighter pilot, operational pilot, and instructor. His exceptional abilities led to his selection by NASA to instruct at the Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards AFB, California.
Before the Apollo mission, Mr. Borman participated in the Gemini 7 spacecraft mission in 1965, spending 14 days in low-Earth orbit and accomplishing the first orbital rendezvous in space with Gemini 6.
Following his retirement as an astronaut, Frank Borman assumed leadership at Eastern Airlines in 1975. His remarkable contributions to space exploration were recognized with his induction into the U.S.
Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1993, and a section of expressway between Indiana and Illinois was named in his honor.