Apollo 8 commander Frank Borman dead at 95

Borman commanded the 1968 Apollo 8 mission that carried three astronauts farther from Earth than anyone had ever traveled

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Apollo 8 commander Frank Borman dead at 95 - KATC pic
Space pioneer and Appolo 8 commandaer Frank Borman dead at 95 - KATC pic

WASHINGTON — US astronaut Frank Borman, who was the commander of the Apollo 8 mission, has died at the age of 95, US space agency NASA said on Thursday (9 Nov), reported German news agency (dpa).

Borman died on Tuesday (7 Nov) in Billings, in the US state of Montana, NASA said.

“Today, we remember one of NASA’s best.

“Astronaut Frank Borman was a true American hero,” said NASA administrator Bill Nelson.

As Apollo 8 commander, the astronaut led the first manned mission around the moon in 1968 and paved the way for the moon landing a few months later.

Born in Indiana, Borman developed a passion for aeroplanes at the age of 15, which eventually led him to the Air Force and later to NASA.

From 1950 onwards, he was a fighter pilot and later an assistant professor of thermodynamics at West Point Military Academy in New York.

In 1967, he was a member of a board of inquiry that investigated an Apollo spacecraft fire that killed three astronauts.

He was later appointed head of the Apollo programme and led the team that redesigned the Apollo spacecraft.

After retiring from the Air Force in 1970, Borman became an adviser to Eastern Airlines before holding various senior positions there, including becoming its president.

Borman also served as special presidential ambassador on trips throughout the Far East and Europe.

Borman received numerous awards, including the Congressional Space Medal of Honour.

In 1990, Borman was inducted into the International Aerospace Hall of Fame and in 1993 into the US Astronaut Hall of Fame. Borman was married and had two sons and four grandchildren. — Bernama-dpa

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