(WatchDogReport.org) – The world bids farewell to space pioneer and former NASA astronaut Frank Borman, who has passed away at the age of 95. Borman will forever be remembered as the leader of the ground-breaking Apollo 8 mission, marking humankind’s first orbit around the moon.
Borman’s journey into the cosmos, launched from Billings, Montana, was a pioneering adventure that enabled him and his team to be the first humans to witness the hidden face of the moon in 1968. This momentous voyage forever changed our understanding of space and our place within it.
Commemorating Borman’s incredible contributions, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson hailed him as a paragon of the agency and a genuine American hero, deeply committed to his field. “Borman’s passion for flight and discovery surpassed only by his affection for his wife, Susan,” Nelson noted.
Borman’s belief in the uniting force of exploration continues to resonate today. He once stated, “Exploration is genuinely the core of the human spirit,” a testament to his lifelong dedication to pushing the boundaries of human knowledge.
The Apollo 8 mission proved to be a turning point in space exploration, marking humanity’s first departure from Earth’s orbit. It was during this mission that Borman’s fellow astronaut William Anders captured the iconic Earthrise photograph. This profound image of Earth hovering over the moon’s barren landscape is often attributed with sparking the environmental movement and inspiring the inauguration of Earth Day.
Borman’s illustrious career took its first flight in 1950 in the Air Force, where he served in multiple roles, including operational pilot, instructor, and a fighter pilot. His exceptional skills earned him a position at the Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards AFB, California, where he trained future astronauts.
Before the Apollo mission, Borman had already made his mark in space aboard the Gemini 7 spacecraft in 1965. During this mission, he spent 14 days in low-Earth orbit and accomplished the first orbital rendezvous in space with Gemini 6.
Post his distinguished career as an astronaut, Borman took the helm of Eastern Airlines in 1975 amidst its tumultuous times. His contributions to space exploration and aviation were formally recognized in 1993 when he was inducted into the US Astronaut Hall of Fame. Additionally, an expressway between Indiana and Illinois was named in his honor, immortalizing his legacy.
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