Frank Borman, one of the NASA astronauts who circled the moon on the Apollo 8 mission in 1968 has died at the age of 95 in Billings, Montana.
Borman returned home to Montana after the mission, in which he was a commander serving alongside fellow astronauts Jim Lovell and William Anders. Borman died on Tuesday Nov. 7.
In 2018 Borman told Scripps News Billings the mission "changed not only my life but the lives of my family."
He said, "All of a sudden from a test pilot and a fighter pilot — one of thousands — all of a sudden we were one of a few people that had been to the moon. So there was a dramatic change."
Borman, who retired from NASA and went on to work for Eastern Airlines,later becamethe company's CEO, while keeping to his Montana roots. Borman owned a ranch in Custer, Montana, and lived in Billings.
Borman told Scripps News Billings in a 2018 interview speaking of his mission, "I was very fortunate, I got the best of the best."
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson released a statement honoring Borman, writing, "Today we remember one of NASA's best. Astronaut Frank Borman was a true American hero. Among his many accomplishments, he served as the commander of the Apollo 8 mission, humanity’s first mission around the Moon in 1968.“
Nelson wrote of Borman, "His lifelong love for aviation and exploration was only surpassed by his love for his wife Susan."
Borman, who started his career off as an officer with the U.S. Air Force, served as a fighter pilot and a test pilot as well as an assistant professor.
Nelson said Borman's "exceptional experience and expertise led him to be chosen by NASA to join the second group of astronauts." Borman was also a veteran of the Gemini 7 mission and spent 14 days in low-Earth orbit, and he conducted the first rendezvous in space, which brought him within just a few feet of the Gemini 6 spacecraft.
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