Borman, Frank

Frank Borman is a retired NASA astronaut and engineer. He was born Frank Frederick Borman, II on March 14, 1928 in Gary, Indiana. His father moved his family to Tucson, Arizona during Borman’s childhood. He graduated from Tucson High School and then graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1950. Upon his graduation, he entered the United States Air Force and became a fighter pilot. He received his Master of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 1957.

Borman was selected for the second NASA astronaut group in 1962, and soon after was chosen as the Command Pilot for Gemini 7 in 1965. The fourteen day flight acted as the target vehicle in the first space rendezvous performed by Gemini 6A. The two spacecrafts came within one foot of each other and took turns flying around each other. One year later, Borman was chosen to command the third manned Apollo mission, but after the death of the Apollo 1 crew the mission was cancelled. He was instead reassigned as the only astronaut to serve on the Accident Review Board to investigate the fire and recommend corrective measures. In April 1967, he testified before a US Senate committee investigating the Apollo 1 fire. Borman was then reassigned to his LM test mission, which was planned to fly as Apollo 9 in 1969. However, after a first, low Earth orbit LM flight in December 1968, the LM proved to be unready. NASA decided to replace Borman’s mission with a lunar orbit flight using the Command/Service Module as Apollo 8. The mission went into lunar orbit on December 24 and orbited the Moon ten times before returning to Earth.

In 1970, Borman retired from NASA and from the Air Force and became a special advisor to Eastern Air Lines, quickly rising to CEO in December 1975. However, the airline company was not successful under Borman, so he sold it to Texas Air. Then, in 1986, Borman retired from Eastern. He then returned to Tucson, Arizona, and as of 2006 he has been living in Las Cruces, New Mexico with his wife Susan. He is also a member of the Society of Antique Modelers.