November 30, 2023

Brighton Journal

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NASA’s most unusual astronaut, Frank Borman, has died

NASA’s most unusual astronaut, Frank Borman, has died

Frank Borman didn’t care about the moon.

The legendary NASA The astronaut, a vital member of the agency’s Apollo program, said in his final years that he did not participate in it because of the grandeur of the mission. space exploration. He had another unique, if ambitious, desire to prove himself as a unique national gem.

“I wanted to be in this American adventure of beating the Soviets. But that’s the only thing that motivated me — beating the damn Russians,” Borman said. He said on the radio program This is American life In 2018.

In fact, Borman commanded the first manned lunar mission, Apollo 8, in 1968, a key step in the United States’ quest to be the first to land astronauts on the Cretaceous surface of the Moon. The astronauts landed the following summer. It was a towering victory in the Cold War.

It turned out that Bormann was serious. Once NASA landed on the moon in 1969, winning the first space race (there is now a new lunar competition), Borman quickly resigned — even though it was almost certain that he would lead a later endeavor to reach the moon.

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Because of Borman’s blunt candor, journalist David Kestenbaum asked Borman whether he was “the best or worst person to have been to the moon, in terms of describing what it’s like.”

“I’m probably the worst,” Borman replied.

NASA announced that Borman died on November 7, 2023 in Billings, Montana. He was 95 years old. He is only 95 years old, and still is He flew a historic military plane.

Borman had long seemed destined for spaceflight greatness. “Frank began his career as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. His love of aviation proved essential through his positions as a fighter pilot, operational pilot, test pilot, and assistant professor,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement. “His exceptional experience and expertise led to his selection by NASA to join the second group of astronauts.”

As the years passed, it increased Apollo mythology The man who never accepted an invitation to return to the moon and lead an expedition to the surface of the moon did not change his mind. He could have been wandering on an extraterrestrial world; He would have been seen internationally, appearing on magazine covers.

“I wouldn’t accept the risk involved in going to pick up rocks. It doesn’t mean much to me,” Borman said.

Yet his trip around the moon meant the world to the people of Earth. The Apollo 8 crew, accompanied by James Lovell and William A. Anders, captured the legendary photo of “Earthrise” as it orbited the moon on Christmas Eve 1968. (Anders took the actual photo.) Before Anders points the camera, – Bormann said sarcastically“Don’t take this, it’s not scheduled.”

Iconography "Earthrise" The photo was taken by NASA's Apollo 8 crew.

The famous “Earthrise” image taken by NASA’s Apollo 8 crew.
Credit: NASA

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Moon may have been bored with Bormann, but he was actually far away Ground marbleAnd the life that moved him. When he returned from the moon, he survived Fiery 24,696 mph descent Through the Earth’s atmosphere and falling into the ocean before the Navy retrieved him from the sea by helicopter, he never bothered to return home and tell his family tales of one of the most brazen endeavors ever undertaken by anyone to date.

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“It was a wonderful time of reunion and emotion, and the last thing on my mind was to tell them what the moon looks like,” Borman said.

Thank you Frank for your candor, authenticity and of course winning.