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Apollo astronaut Frank Borman remembered

Frank Borman, commander of the 1968 Apollo 8 mission that circled the moon for the first time, died November 7 at age 95.

Astronaut Frank Borman, command pilot for the Gemini 7 spaceflight, looks over the mission's spacecraft during weight and balance tests. NASA photo.

Borman graduated from the U.S. Military Academy and served in the Air Force as a fighter pilot and experimental test pilot. As commander of the Gemini 7 mission in 1965, he flew with astronaut Jim Lovell to prove that human beings could function in weightlessness for as long as the future Apollo flights were expected to require.

In 1967 Borman served as on the board that investigated the causes of the fire aboard Apollo 1, which killed astronauts Roger Chaffee, Gus Grissom, and Ed White.

When Borman retired from the Air Force in 1970, he joined Eastern Air Lines as senior vice president of operations, and became its chief executive officer in 1975. He operated a car dealership; was a cattle rancher in Montana; and published his autobiography, Countdown, co-written by Robert J. Serling.

In 2018 Borman donated his personal collection of artifacts to the Experimental Aircraft Association, and a permanent exhibit of items is located in EAA’s Aviation Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Some of the more than 1,000 items in the collection traveled to space with him.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson called Borman “one of NASA’s best” and said, “Frank knew the power exploration held in uniting humanity when he said, ‘Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit.’ His service to NASA and our nation will undoubtedly fuel the Artemis Generation to reach new cosmic shores.”

Jill W. Tallman
Jill W. Tallman
AOPA Technical Editor
AOPA Technical Editor Jill W. Tallman is an instrument-rated private pilot who is part-owner of a Cessna 182Q.
Topics: People

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