Moon: Astronaut Frank Borman, who led the first orbiter of the Moon, dies at 95

Space Frank BormanHe circled the historic Christmas 1968 flight of Apollo 8 the moon 10 times and died the following year paving the way for the lunar landing. He was 95. Borman died Tuesday in Billings, Montana NASA.
Borman also headed the problem Eastern AirlinesAfter leaving the astronaut corps in the 1970s and early 80s. But he is best known for his NASA duties.
He and his crew, James Lovell and William Anders, were the first Apollo mission to fly to the Moon — and see Earth as a distant sphere in space. „Today we remember one of NASA’s greats. Astronaut Frank Borman was a true American hero,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement Thursday.
Launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on December 21, 1968, the Apollo 8 trio spent three days traveling to the moon and slipped into lunar orbit on Christmas Eve. After they circled 10 times on December 24-25, they headed home on December 27. On Christmas Eve, the astronauts read from the book of Genesis in a live broadcast from the orbiter: „In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth was formless and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep.” Borman concluded the broadcast by saying, „From the crew of Apollo 8, we wish you good night, good luck, Merry Christmas, and God bless you all – and bless you all on good earth.”
Dec. 4, Lovell and Borman had previously flown together during the two-week Gemini 7 mission that launched in 1965 — and, at a distance of 120 feet, completed the first space-orbital rendezvous with Gemini 6. „Gemini was a rough ride,” Borman told the AP in 1998. „It was smaller than the front seat of a Volkswagen Bug. It made the Apollo look like a super-duper, plush touring bus.” In his book, „Countdown: An Autobiography,” Borman said Apollo 8 was supposed to orbit Earth first. In October 1968, the success of Apollo 7’s mission to demonstrate computer reliability in long-duration flights led NASA to decide it was time to take a shot at flying to the moon. But Borman said there was another reason NASA changed the plan: The agency wanted to win over the Russians. Borman said he thought one orbit would be enough. „My main concern with this whole flight was to get there and home before the Russians. That was a remarkable achievement in my view,” Borman explained in 2017.
It was on the crew’s fourth orbit that Anders took the iconic „Earthrise” photograph, showing the blue and white Earth rising above the gray lunar landscape. Borman wrote about what the Earth looks like from afar: „We are the first humans to see the world in its majestic fullness, an intensely emotional experience for each of us.”

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