Apollo Astronaut Who Commanded The First Mission To The Moon Dies At 95

NASA

In 1968, Astronaut Frank Borman commanded the first mission to the moon, the Apollo 8 mission. He and his crew were the first people ever to orbit the moon.

Now, NASA has announced the sad news that Borman has died. He was in Billings, Montana, at the time of his death, which occurred on November 7, 2023. He was 95 years old.

In a statement, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson shared, “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.”

Borman started his career as a fighter and test pilot in the Air Force. In 1962, he was part of NASA’s second astronaut class. He was on board Gemini 7 before the Apollo 8 flight.

Back in 1968, Borman and his crew snapped a picture of the “Earthrise” as they orbited the moon. At the time, using a handheld TV camera, Borman said, “This is Apollo 8 coming to you live from the moon.”

Next, Borman and his crew shared lines from the book of Genesis, the Bible’s first book, “In the beginning, God created heaven and Earth…”

Borman later shared just how impactful it was to him personally to see the Earthrise. He explained, “Because of the wonderment of it and the fact that the Earth looked so lonely in the universe. It’s the only thing with color. All of our emotions were focused back there with our families as well. So that was the most emotional part of the flight for me.”

After his career with NASA, Borman worked as CEO of Eastern Airlines.

Watch the video below to learn more about Borman’s life and career as an Astronaut.

Borman died just about a week after fellow Apollo astronaut Thomas K. Mattingly II who died on October 31st at the age of 87 years old.