Frank Borman

Frank Borman

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Frank Frederick Borman, II (born March 14, 1928) is a retired NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 astronaut
Astronaut
An astronaut or cosmonaut is a person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft....

 and engineer
Engineer
An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems. Engineers design materials, structures, machines and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality,...

, best remembered as the Commander of Apollo 8
Apollo 8
Apollo 8, the second manned mission in the American Apollo space program, was the first human spaceflight to leave Earth orbit; the first to be captured by and escape from the gravitational field of another celestial body; and the first crewed voyage to return to Earth from another celestial...

, the first mission to fly around the Moon
Moon
The Moon is Earth's only known natural satellite,There are a number of near-Earth asteroids including 3753 Cruithne that are co-orbital with Earth: their orbits bring them close to Earth for periods of time but then alter in the long term . These are quasi-satellites and not true moons. For more...

, making him, along with fellow crew mates Jim Lovell
Jim Lovell
James "Jim" Arthur Lovell, Jr., is a former NASA astronaut and a retired captain in the United States Navy, most famous as the commander of the Apollo 13 mission, which suffered a critical failure en route to the Moon but was brought back safely to Earth by the efforts of the crew and mission...

 and Bill Anders
William Anders
William Alison Anders is a former United States Air Force officer, NASA astronaut, businessman, and engineer. He is, along with Apollo 8 crewmates Frank Borman and Jim Lovell, one of the first three persons to have left Earth orbit and traveled to the Moon .-Biography:Anders was born to Arthur...

, the first of only 24 humans to do so. Before flying on Apollo, he set a fourteen-day spaceflight endurance record on Gemini 7
Gemini 7
Gemini 7 was a 1965 manned spaceflight in NASA's Gemini program. It was the 4th manned Gemini flight, the 12th manned American flight and the 20th spaceflight of all time . The crew of Frank F. Borman, II and James A...

, and also served on the NASA review board which investigated the Apollo 1
Apollo 1
Apollo 1 was scheduled to be the first manned mission of the Apollo manned lunar landing program, with a target launch date of February 21, 1967. A cabin fire during a launch pad test on January 27 at Launch Pad 34 at Cape Canaveral killed all three crew members: Command Pilot Virgil "Gus"...

 fire. After leaving NASA, he was the chief executive officer
Chief executive officer
A chief executive officer , managing director , Executive Director for non-profit organizations, or chief executive is the highest-ranking corporate officer or administrator in charge of total management of an organization...

 (CEO) of Eastern Air Lines
Eastern Air Lines
Eastern Air Lines was a major United States airline that existed from 1926 to 1991. Before its dissolution it was headquartered at Miami International Airport in unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida.-History:...

 from 1975 to 1986. Frank Borman is a recipient of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor
Congressional Space Medal of Honor
The Congressional Space Medal of Honor was authorized by the United States Congress in 1969 to recognize "any astronaut who in the performance of his duties has distinguished himself by exceptionally meritorious efforts and contributions to the welfare of the Nation and mankind." The highest award...

. In the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, Borman was played by David Andrews
David Andrews (actor)
David Andrews is an American actor, best known for his role as General Robert Brewster in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.Andrews was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana...

.

Early career


Borman was born in Gary, Indiana
Gary, Indiana
Gary is a city in Lake County, Indiana, United States. The city is in the southeastern portion of the Chicago metropolitan area and is 25 miles from downtown Chicago. The population is 80,294 at the 2010 census, making it the seventh-largest city in the state. It borders Lake Michigan and is known...

, where the Frank Borman Expressway
Borman Expressway
The Frank Borman Expressway is an east–west highway in the northwest part of the U.S. state of Indiana, named after astronaut and former Eastern Airlines CEO Frank Borman. The expressway consists of parts of Interstate 80 , I-94, and U.S. Highway 6 , as well as a short section of US 41...

 is named after him. Because he suffered from numerous sinus problems in the cold and damp weather, his father packed up the family and moved to the better climate of Tucson, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Tucson is a city in and the county seat of Pima County, Arizona, United States. The city is located 118 miles southeast of Phoenix and 60 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border. The 2010 United States Census puts the city's population at 520,116 with a metropolitan area population at 1,020,200...

, which Borman considers his home town. He started to fly at the age of 15. He is a graduate of the Tucson High School. He graduated from the United States Military Academy
United States Military Academy
The United States Military Academy at West Point is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located at West Point, New York. The academy sits on scenic high ground overlooking the Hudson River, north of New York City...

 in 1950 where he served as an Army Football Manager, and along with part of his graduating class, he entered the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 (USAF) and became a fighter pilot. He received his Master of Science
Master of Science
A Master of Science is a postgraduate academic master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. The degree is typically studied for in the sciences including the social sciences.-Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay:...

 degree in aeronautical engineering from the California Institute of Technology
California Institute of Technology
The California Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Pasadena, California, United States. Caltech has six academic divisions with strong emphases on science and engineering...

 in 1957. Later, Borman was selected for the USAF test pilot school and became a test pilot.

Project Gemini


Borman was selected by NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 for the second NASA astronaut group
Astronaut Group 2
NASA's Astronaut Group 2, also known as The New Nine, was the second group of astronauts selected by NASA in September 1962. The group was required to augment the original Mercury 7 with the announcement of the Gemini program and leading to the Apollo program...

 in 1962, and was chosen as the Command Pilot for Gemini 7
Gemini 7
Gemini 7 was a 1965 manned spaceflight in NASA's Gemini program. It was the 4th manned Gemini flight, the 12th manned American flight and the 20th spaceflight of all time . The crew of Frank F. Borman, II and James A...

. He was one of just four of this group chosen to command their first Gemini missions, the others being James McDivitt
James McDivitt
James Alton McDivitt is a former NASA astronaut and engineer who flew in the Gemini and Apollo programs. He commanded the Gemini 4 flight in which Edward H. White performed the first US space walk, and later the Apollo 9 flight which was the first manned Earth orbital test of the Apollo Lunar...

, Neil Armstrong
Neil Armstrong
Neil Alden Armstrong is an American former astronaut, test pilot, aerospace engineer, university professor, United States Naval Aviator, and the first person to set foot upon the Moon....

, and Elliot See. (See was killed in a T-38 trainer jet crash three months before his mission. Astronauts Gerald Carr and Joe Engle, selected later, also commanded their first space flights.)

Borman flew Gemini 7 in December 1965 with Pilot James A. Lovell, Jr.
Jim Lovell
James "Jim" Arthur Lovell, Jr., is a former NASA astronaut and a retired captain in the United States Navy, most famous as the commander of the Apollo 13 mission, which suffered a critical failure en route to the Moon but was brought back safely to Earth by the efforts of the crew and mission...

.
This was a long-endurance flight which set a fourteen-day record, and also acted as the target vehicle in the first space rendezvous
Space rendezvous
A space rendezvous is an orbital maneuver during which two spacecraft, one of which is often a space station, arrive at the same orbit and approach to a very close distance . Rendezvous requires a precise match of the orbital velocities of the two spacecraft, allowing them to remain at a constant...

 performed by Gemini 6A
Gemini 6A
-Backup crew:-Mission parameters:* Mass: * Perigee: * Apogee: * Inclination: 28.97°* Period: 88.7 min-Stationkeeping with GT-7:* Start: December 15, 1965 19:33 UTC* End: December 16, 1965 00:52 UTC-Objectives:...

. The two craft came within one foot (30 centimeters) of each other and they took turns flying around each other, taking both still and motion pictures.

Apollo Program


Borman was selected in late 1966 to command the third manned Apollo mission, planned as an elliptical medium Earth orbit
Medium Earth Orbit
Medium Earth orbit , sometimes called intermediate circular orbit , is the region of space around the Earth above low Earth orbit and below geostationary orbit ....

 test of the second manned Lunar Module
Apollo Lunar Module
The Apollo Lunar Module was the lander portion of the Apollo spacecraft built for the US Apollo program by Grumman to carry a crew of two from lunar orbit to the surface and back...

 (LM) on the first manned launch of the Saturn V
Saturn V
The Saturn V was an American human-rated expendable rocket used by NASA's Apollo and Skylab programs from 1967 until 1973. A multistage liquid-fueled launch vehicle, NASA launched 13 Saturn Vs from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida with no loss of crew or payload...

 lunar rocket sometime in 1967 or early 1968. But in January 1967, the crew of the first manned Apollo mission, Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Ed White
Edward Higgins White
Edward Higgins White, II was an engineer, United States Air Force officer and NASA astronaut. On June 3, 1965, he became the first American to "walk" in space. White died along with fellow astronauts Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee during a pre-launch test for the first manned Apollo mission at...

, and Roger B. Chaffee
Roger B. Chaffee
Roger Bruce Chaffee was an American aeronautical engineer and a NASA astronaut in the Apollo program. Chaffee died along with fellow astronauts Gus Grissom and Ed White during a pre-launch test for the Apollo 1 mission at Cape Kennedy...

 were killed in a cabin fire aboard their Apollo 1
Apollo 1
Apollo 1 was scheduled to be the first manned mission of the Apollo manned lunar landing program, with a target launch date of February 21, 1967. A cabin fire during a launch pad test on January 27 at Launch Pad 34 at Cape Canaveral killed all three crew members: Command Pilot Virgil "Gus"...

 Command Module, also designated AS-204.

Borman was chosen as the only astronaut to serve on the AS-204 Accident Review Board, charged with investigating the root causes of the fire and recommending corrective measures. In April 1967, while serving on the board, Borman was one of five astronauts who testified before a US Senate committee investigating the Apollo 1 fire. His testimony helped convince Congress that Apollo would be safe to fly again.

Borman was then reassigned to his LM test mission, now planned to fly as Apollo 9 in early 1969 after a first, low Earth orbit
Low Earth orbit
A low Earth orbit is generally defined as an orbit within the locus extending from the Earth’s surface up to an altitude of 2,000 km...

 LM flight commanded by McDivitt in December 1968. But the LM was not ready for its first flight, leading NASA management to decide to replace Borman's mission with a lunar orbit flight using just the Command/Service Module
Apollo Command/Service Module
The Command/Service Module was one of two spacecraft, along with the Lunar Module, used for the United States Apollo program which landed astronauts on the Moon. It was built for NASA by North American Aviation...

 as Apollo 8
Apollo 8
Apollo 8, the second manned mission in the American Apollo space program, was the first human spaceflight to leave Earth orbit; the first to be captured by and escape from the gravitational field of another celestial body; and the first crewed voyage to return to Earth from another celestial...

 in December, making McDivitt's flight Apollo 9
Apollo 9
Apollo 9, the third manned mission in the American Apollo space program, was the first flight of the Command/Service Module with the Lunar Module...

 in March 1969. Borman's "Lunar Module Pilot" (and spacecraft systems engineer) was William Anders. The Command Module Pilot and navigator, Michael Collins
Michael Collins
- Politics :* Michael Collins , Irish Labour party politician, Lord Mayor Of Dublin 1977–1978* Michael Collins , Irish revolutionary leader, soldier, and politician...

, had to have back surgery and was replaced by his backup, James Lovell, reuniting Borman with his Gemini 7 crewmate. Apollo 8 went into lunar orbit on December 24 and made ten orbits of the Moon in 20 hours before returning to Earth.
The success of Apollo 8 avoided jeopardizing the goal of making the first manned Moon landing
Moon landing
A moon landing is the arrival of a spacecraft on the surface of the Moon. This includes both manned and unmanned missions. The first human-made object to reach the surface of the Moon was the Soviet Union's Luna 2 mission on 13 September 1959. The United States's Apollo 11 was the first manned...

 by the end of 1969 by not waiting for the delayed LM, and also provided invaluable experience in navigation to the Moon.

Space journalist Andrew Chaikin
Andrew Chaikin
Andrew Chaikin is an American author, speaker and space journalist. He currently lives in Vermont.He is the author of A Man on the Moon, a detailed description of the Apollo missions to the moon...

 claims that, following the death of Gus Grissom, Borman became astronaut chief Deke Slayton
Deke Slayton
Donald Kent Slayton , better known as Deke Slayton, was an American World War II pilot and later, one of the original NASA Mercury Seven astronauts....

's choice to command the first Moon landing attempt. In the fall of 1968 Slayton offered command of the first landing to Borman, who turned it down, choosing to retire instead. Slayton then offered the position to McDivitt, who also refused.

Eastern Air Lines


Borman retired from NASA and the Air Force in 1970, becoming special advisor to Eastern Air Lines. He rose in the ranks of Eastern, becoming CEO in December 1975. The airline
Airline
An airline provides air transport services for traveling passengers and freight. Airlines lease or own their aircraft with which to supply these services and may form partnerships or alliances with other airlines for mutual benefit...

 business underwent many changes in the late 1970s, and despite a promising start, Eastern ultimately did not do well under Borman. Borman sold Eastern to Texas Air, headed by Frank Lorenzo
Frank Lorenzo
Francisco Anthony "Frank" Lorenzo is an American businessman and philanthropist. He is most famous for his leadership of Texas International Airlines and its successor holding company Texas Air Corporation between 1972 and 1990, through which he formed or acquired a number of major U.S...

, after many contentious battles with labor unions, particularly the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers is an AFL-CIO/CLC trade union representing approx. 646,933 workers as of 2006 in more than 200 industries.-Formation and early history:...

 (IAM). Borman retired from Eastern in 1986. A strike by the IAM in 1989 eventually forced Eastern into bankruptcy and finally liquidation.

Retirement



Borman returned to Tucson, Arizona, to reside, and as of 2006 has been living in Las Cruces, New Mexico
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Las Cruces, also known as "The City of the Crosses", is the county seat of Doña Ana County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 97,618 in 2010 according to the 2010 Census, making it the second largest city in the state....

, where he enjoys rebuilding and flying airplanes from World War II and the Korean era. Today, he is a member of the Society of Antique Modelers (SAM). Borman gave the Commencement Address to the graduating class of 2008 at the University of Arizona
University of Arizona
The University of Arizona is a land-grant and space-grant public institution of higher education and research located in Tucson, Arizona, United States. The University of Arizona was the first university in the state of Arizona, founded in 1885...

.

Borman has since appeared in the documentary When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions
When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions
When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions or NASA's Greatest Missions: When We Left Earth in the UK is a Discovery Channel HD documentary miniseries consisting of six episodes documenting American human spaceflight, spanning from the first Mercury flights through the Gemini program to the Apollo moon...

. On November 13, 2008, Borman and fellow Apollo 8
Apollo 8
Apollo 8, the second manned mission in the American Apollo space program, was the first human spaceflight to leave Earth orbit; the first to be captured by and escape from the gravitational field of another celestial body; and the first crewed voyage to return to Earth from another celestial...

 crewmembers Jim Lovell
Jim Lovell
James "Jim" Arthur Lovell, Jr., is a former NASA astronaut and a retired captain in the United States Navy, most famous as the commander of the Apollo 13 mission, which suffered a critical failure en route to the Moon but was brought back safely to Earth by the efforts of the crew and mission...

 and Bill Anders appeared on the NASA TV channel to discuss the Apollo 8 mission.

Borman currently resides with his wife Susan in Bighorn, Montana.

Quotes


"There's no question that it was a coffin, and I'd have flown it gladly." — Public comment on the hazardous design and construction of the Apollo Command Module, while serving on the AS-204 Accident Review Board.

"Had that rocket not fired, I'd still be orbiting the moon. Forever. And I really didn't want to do that." — Spoken of the Apollo 8 mission during the documentary When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions
When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions
When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions or NASA's Greatest Missions: When We Left Earth in the UK is a Discovery Channel HD documentary miniseries consisting of six episodes documenting American human spaceflight, spanning from the first Mercury flights through the Gemini program to the Apollo moon...



"I've long said that capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without hell. But it's hard to see any good news in this." - As Chairman of Eastern Airlines

Awards

  • Society of Experimental Test Pilots
    Society of Experimental Test Pilots
    The Society of Experimental Test Pilots is an international organization that seeks to promote air safety and contributes to aeronautical advancement by promoting sound aeronautical design and development; interchanging ideas, thoughts and suggestions of the members, assisting in the professional...

     James H. Doolittle Award
    James H. Doolittle Award
    The James H. Doolittle Award is an honor presented annually by the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. It is an award for "outstanding accomplishment in technical management or engineering achievement in aerospace technology". The award consists of a perpetual trophy on permanent display at SETP...

    , 1976
  • Congressional Space Medal of Honor
    Congressional Space Medal of Honor
    The Congressional Space Medal of Honor was authorized by the United States Congress in 1969 to recognize "any astronaut who in the performance of his duties has distinguished himself by exceptionally meritorious efforts and contributions to the welfare of the Nation and mankind." The highest award...

    , 1978
  • Tony Jannus Award
    Tony Jannus Award
    The Tony Jannus Award recognizes outstanding individual achievement in scheduled commercial aviation by airline executives, inventors and manufacturers, and government leaders. The award is conferred annually by the Tony Jannus Distinguished Aviation Society and was first bestowed in 1964 in Tampa,...

    , 1986

Tributes

  • I-80
    Interstate 80 in Indiana
    In the U.S. state of Indiana, Interstate 80 consists entirely of the following two routes:* The Borman Expressway, from the Illinois state line to Lake Station, Indiana, running concurrently with Interstate 94....

    /I-94
    Interstate 94 in Indiana
    In the U.S. state of Indiana, Interstate 94 runs east–west through the northwest portion of the state.-Route description:The route between the Illinois border and Lake Station at its junction with the Indiana Toll Road is known as the Borman Expressway and is a heavily traveled route...

     in Lake County, Indiana
    Lake County, Indiana
    Lake County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. In 2010, its population was 496,005, making it Indiana's second-most populous county. The county seat is Crown Point. This county is part of Northwest Indiana and the Chicago metropolitan area. The county contains a mix of urban,...

    , which runs through his birthtown of Gary, Indiana
    Gary, Indiana
    Gary is a city in Lake County, Indiana, United States. The city is in the southeastern portion of the Chicago metropolitan area and is 25 miles from downtown Chicago. The population is 80,294 at the 2010 census, making it the seventh-largest city in the state. It borders Lake Michigan and is known...

    , is named the Frank Borman Expressway.

External links