Who was Frank Borman? Looking back at legendary astronaut’s legacy as he passes away at 95

Astronaut Frank Borman, a name etched in the annals of space exploration, passed away at the age of 95, leaving behind a legacy that transcends the boundaries of our atmosphere.

Published on Nov 10, 2023   |  04:29 PM IST  |  29.3K
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Key Highlight
  • Frank Borman, whose name will live on in the annals of space exploration, died at the age of 95
  • Frank Borman, alongside James Lovell and William Anders, led the groundbreaking Apollo 8 mission

Trigger Warning: This article contains references to an individual’s death. 

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Astronaut Frank Borman, whose name is inscribed in the annals of space travel, died at the age of 95, leaving behind a legacy that extends beyond the confines of our atmosphere. Borman led the famous Apollo 8 mission in 1968, becoming the first person to orbit the moon with crewmates James Lovell and William Anders, paving the way for the momentous lunar landing in 1969 as per the New York Post. 

A celestial Christmas eve 

Borman and his crew launched from Cape Canaveral on December 21, 1968, and spent three incredible days in space, orbiting the moon 10 times. They sent a heartfelt message to Earth on Christmas Eve, reading from the Book of Genesis during a live transmission. Borman's passionate comments finished the transmission, "And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you — all of you on the good Earth." 

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From Gemini to Apollo: Navigating the cosmos 

Borman and Lovell had already shared the cosmic stage during the Gemini 7 mission in 1965 when they achieved the first space orbital rendezvous with Gemini 6 at only 120 feet apart as per the New York Post. Borman reflected on those early trips, noting the sharp contrast between Gemini's small accommodations and the more roomy Apollo module. 


Beyond Earth's horizon: The "Earthrise" photo 

During Apollo 8's fourth orbit, William Anders captured the classic "Earthrise" photograph, which captures the grandeur of our blue and white planet rising over the lunar surface. Borman recalled the feeling of becoming the first humans to see Earth in its beautiful entirety, a moment that evoked strong emotions. He reflected, "This must be what God sees." 

A legacy beyond the stars 

While Borman's space feats will be remembered forever, his journey stretched beyond NASA. He took over as CEO of Eastern Airlines in the 1970s and early 1980s, guiding the firm through a difficult time highlighted by fuel price increases and industry deregulation. Despite the difficulties, Borman's enthusiasm for flying remained, and he continued to fly planes into his 90s. 

Frank Borman's life is a tribute to the undying spirit of exploration, as well as a reminder of humanity's extraordinary achievements beyond our earthly boundaries. As we say goodbye to this great American hero, we commemorate the continuing legacy of a man who not only circled the moon but also left an indelible stamp on space exploration history.

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Know more about Frank Borman.

Who was Frank Borman?
Frank Borman was an astronaut and the commander of the historic Apollo 8 mission in 1968.

Why is Frank Borman significant in space exploration history?
Alongside James Lovell and William Anders, Borman became the first human to orbit the moon. This mission laid the foundation for the later lunar landings and is a crucial chapter in space exploration.

About The Author

Sakina is a seeker of truth and uncovers hidden perspectives, ensuring her readers are not just informed but



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