American astronaut Frank Borman died on Tuesday at the age of 95. In December 1968, he was commander of the Apollo 8 mission, the first manned flight to the Moon and back. It was a dress rehearsal for the moon landing the following year.
On Thursday, the US space agency NASA announced Bormann’s death. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson calls Borman “a true American hero” and “one of NASA’s best heroes.”
Borman was selected as an astronaut in 1962. His first spaceflight was the Gemini 7 mission in 1965. Borman spent about two weeks in Earth orbit, at the time the longest spaceflight ever.
Three years later, he returned to space aboard Apollo 8. Borman and two other crew members, James Lovell and William Anders, became the first people to leave Earth’s orbit and cross to the Moon. They orbited the moon ten times in twenty hours. Bormann took a black-and-white photo of the Earth rising above the lunar horizon. Shortly thereafter, Anders took the same photo, but in color. That picture, “Earthrise,” became famous.
Six days after launch, Borman, Lovell and Anders returned to Earth. As commander, Bormann then toured the Allies, including the Netherlands. It showed Queen Juliana on a tour around a space exhibit in the Congress building in The Hague.
Bormann was the oldest living astronaut. This is now Jim Lovell, commander of the failed Apollo 13 mission to the moon.
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