Status: Inactive; Active 1962-1970. Born: 1928-03-14. Spaceflights: 2 . Total time in space: 19.90 days. Birth Place: Gary, Indiana.
Official NASA Biography as of June 2016:Frank Borman
NASA Astronaut (former)
A hero of the American Space Odyssey, Frank Borman led the first team of American astronauts to circle the moon, extending man's horizons into space. He is internationally known as Commander of the 1968 Apollo 8 Mission. A romance with airplanes that began when he was 15 years old, took Frank Borman to the Air Force and then to NASA.
A career Air Force officer from 1950, his assignments included service as a fighter pilot, an operational pilot and instructor, an experimental test pilot and an assistant professor of Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics at West Point. When selected by NASA, Frank Borman was instructor at the Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards AFB, California.
In 1967 he served as a member of the Apollo 204 Fire Investigation Board, investigating the causes of the fire which killed three astronauts aboard an Apollo spacecraft, reminiscent of the Challenger tragedy. Later he became the Apollo Program Resident Manager, heading the team that re-engineered the Apollo spacecraft. He also served as Field Director of NASA's Space Station Task Force.
Frank Borman retired from the air Force in 1970, but is well remembered as a part of this nation's history, a pioneer in the exploration of space and a veteran of both the Gemini 7, 1965 Space Orbital Rendezvous with Gemini 6 and the first manned lunar orbital mission, Apollo 8, in 1968.
Borman's retirement from the Air Force in 1970 did not end his aviation career. He became a special advisor to Eastern Airlines in early 1969 and in December 1970 was named Sr. Vice President-Operations Group.
He was promoted to Executive Vice President-Genera Operations Manager and was elected to Eastern's Board of Directors in July 1974. In May 1975 he was elected President and Chief Operating Officer. He was named Chief Executive Officer in December 1975 and became Chairman of the Board in December 1976.
During his tenure as Chief Executive Officer of Eastern, the airline industry went through an enormous change caused by deregulation. During this period Eastern originated several unique programs including profit sharing and wages tied to company profitability. These programs produced the four most profitable years in the company's history. A recalcitrant union forced their abandonment in 1983 and the resulting loses led to the sale of the airline to Texas Air Corporation. Colonel Borman retired from Eastern Airlines in June of 1986.
Colonel Borman was privileged to serve as Special Presidential Ambassador on trips throughout the Far East and Europe, including a worldwide tour to seek support for the release of American Prisoners of war held by North Vietnam.
He received the Congressional Space Medal of Honor from the President of the United States. Colonel Borman also was awarded the Harmon International Aviation Trophy, the Robert J. Collier Trophy, the Tony Jannus Award and the National Geographic Society's Hubbard Medal--in addition to many honorary degrees, special honors and service decorations. More recently, in September of 1990, Colonel Borman along with fellow Apollo 8 astronauts, Lovell and Anders, was inducted into the International Aerospace Hall of Fame. And in October of 1990 received the Airport Operators Council International Downes Award. In March 1993, he was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.
Frank Borman was born in Gary, Indiana, and was raised in Tucson, Arizona. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, in 1950 and a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 1957. He completed the Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program in 1970.
Frank Borman is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Home Depot, National Geographic, Outboard Marine Corporation, Auto Finance Group, Thermo Instrument Systems and American Superconductor. He was named Chief Executive Office of Patlex Corporation in the spring of 1988, and presently holds the titles of Chairman, CEO and President of that Corporation. He has written an autobiography entitled Countdown: An Autobiography of Frank Borman with Robert J. Serling, released October of 1988 and published by Silver Arrow Books, William Morrow and Company, Inc.
He is married to the former Susan Bugbee of Tucson, Arizona. They have two sons, Frederick and Edwin, and four grandchildren. Frank and Susan presently reside in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
This is the only version available from NASA. Updates must be sought direct from the above named individual.
NAME: Frank Borman
BIRTHPLACE AND DATE: Borman was born in Gary, Indiana, on March 14, 1928.
EDUCATION: Borman received a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, in 1950 and a Master of Science degree from the California Institute of Technology in 1957. He completed the Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program in 1970.
EXPERIENCE: Borman was a career Air Force office from 1950 to 1970, when he retired with the rank of colonel. He served as a fighter pilot in the Philippines, as an operational pilot and instructor with various squadrons in the United States, as an assistant professor of thermodynamics and fluid dynamics at West Point and as an experimental test pilot at the USAF Aerospace Pilot School.
NASA selected him as an astronaut in 1962. In December 1965, he and Jim Lovell spent a record 14 days in orbit aboard Gemini 7. During the flight, Gemini 6 astronauts Wally Schirra and Tom Stafford were launched and executed the first space rendezvous, with the two spacecraft manoeuvring to less than a metre of one another.
After being assigned Apollo 8, Deke Slayton offered Borman and his crew the first Lunar Landing, instead of Armstrong and Aldrin, but Borman turned him down. A last minute decision was made to send Apollo 8, only the second manned Apollo flight, into lunar orbit in order to beat the Russians. On December 21, 1968, the Apollo 8 crew of Borman, Lovell, and Anders became the first humans to reach escape velocity as their Saturn V put them on a trans-lunar trajectory. Early on Christmas Eve, the Apollo 8 command-service module braked into lunar orbit. In an unforgettable Christmas message to the world, Borman, Lovell and Anders read the story of creation from the first ten verses of the Bible's Book of Genesis, while sending a vivid televised image of the stark lunar surface rolling by below. On Christmas Day, Apollo 8's engines pushed the crew out of lunar orbit and back toward Earth to a landing in the Pacific Ocean.
After the flight Borman left NASA and the Air Force for an equally successful and much more lucrative career in business. From 1969 he served Eastern Airlines as a special adviser, and a year later he was named Vice President-Operations Group. He worked his way up the corporate ladder and by 1975 was President and Chief Operating Officer, becoming Chief Executive Officer later that year, and Chairman of the Board in 1976. He resigned from Eastern in 1986. Later he was an official of the Patlex Corporation.
NASA planned to select five to ten astronauts to augment the seven-member Mercury astronaut team. The new pilots would participate in support operations in Project Mercury and would join the Mercury astronauts in piloting the two-man Gemini spacecraft. To be chosen, the applicant must (1) be an experienced jet test pilot and preferably be presently engaged in flying high-performance aircraft; (2) have attained experimental flight test status through military service, aircraft industry, or NASA, or must have graduated from a military test pilot school; (3) have earned a degree in the physical or biological sciences or in engineering; (4) be a United States citizen under 35 years of age at the time of selection, six feet or less in height; and (5) be recommended by his parent organization. Pilots meeting these qualifications would be interviewed in July and given written examinations on their engineering and scientific knowledge. Selected applicants would then be thoroughly examined by a group of medical specialists. The training program for the new astronauts would include work with design and development engineers, simulator flying, centrifuge training, additional scientific training, and flights in high-performance aircraft.
The group was selected to provide pilots for the Gemini program and early Apollo missions.. Qualifications: Test pilot status (either military, NASA, or aircraft industry), qualified jet pilot with minimum 1,000 flight-hours, under 35 years old, under 183 cm height, excellent health. US citizen.. 253 applicants survived initial NASA screening of their records. Following physical and psychiatric tests, nine were selected. Eight made it to space (See was killed in a T-38 crash before his first spaceflight). This was generally considered the highest quality group of astronauts ever selected. They would command the missions during the glory days of the American space program - Gemini, Apollo, and Skylab. Young was the only astronaut to fly Gemini, Apollo, and the Shuttle program. Armstrong was the only one to fly the X-15, Gemini, and Apollo. Conrad was the only one to fly Gemini, Apollo, and Skylab.
NASA's nine new astronauts were named in Houston, Tex., by Robert R. Gilruth, MSC Director. Chosen from 253 applicants, the former test pilots who would join the original seven Mercury astronauts in training for Projects Gemini and Apollo were: Neil A. Armstrong, NASA civilian test pilot; Maj. Frank Borman, Air Force; Lt. Charles Conrad, Jr., Navy; Lt.Cdr. James A, Lovell, Jr., Navy; Capt. James A. McDivitt, Air Force; Elliot M. See, Jr., civilian test pilot for the General Electric Company; Capt. Thomas P. Stafford, Air Force; Capt. Edward H. White II, Air Force; and Lt. Cdr. John W. Young, Navy.
MSC announced new assignments for the seven original astronauts: L. Gordon Cooper, Jr., and Alan B. Shepard, Jr., would be responsible for the remaining pilot phases of Project Mercury; Virgil I. Grissom would specialize in Project Gemini; John H. Glenn, Jr., would concentrate on Project Apollo; M. Scott Carpenter would cover lunar excursion training; and Walter M. Schirra, Jr., would be responsible for Gemini and Apollo operations and training. As Coordinator for Astronaut Activities, Donald K. Slayton would maintain overall supervision of astronaut duties.
Specialty areas for the second generation were: trainers and simulators, Neil A. Armstrong; boosters, Frank Borman; cockpit layout and systems integration, Charles Conrad, Jr.; recovery system, James A. Lovell, Jr.; guidance and navigation, James A. McDivitt; electrical, sequential, and mission planning, Elliot M. See, Jr.; communications, instrumentation, and range integration, Thomas P. Stafford; flight control systems, Edward H. White II; and environmental control systems, personal equipment, and survival equipment, John W. Young.
Manned Spacecraft Center announced specialty areas for the nine new astronauts: trainers and simulators, Neil A. Armstrong; boosters, Frank Borman; cockpit layout and systems integration, Charles Conrad, Jr.; recovery systems, James A. Lovell, Jr.; guidance and navigation, James A. McDivitt; electrical, Sequential, and mission planning, Elliot M. See, Jr.; communications, instrumentation, and range integration, Thomas P. Stafford; flight control systems, Edward H White II; and environmental control systems, personal and survival equipment, John W Young.
The second manned and first long-duration mission in the Gemini program. Major objectives of the four-day mission were demonstrating and evaluating the performance of spacecraft systems in a long-duration flight and evaluating effects on the crew of prolonged exposure to the space environment. Secondary objectives included demonstrating extravehicular activity (EVA) in space, conducting stationkeeping and rendezvous maneuvers with the second stage of the launch vehicle, performing significant in-plane and out-of-plane maneuvers, demonstrating the ability of the orbit attitude and maneuver system (OAMS) to back up the retrorockets, and executing 11 experiments. The stationkeeping exercise was terminated at the end of the first revolution because most of the OAMS propellant allocated for the exercise had been used; further efforts would jeopardize primary mission objectives and could mean the cancellation of several secondary objectives. No rendezvous was attempted. The only other major problem to mar the mission was the inadvertent alteration of the computer memory during the 48th revolution in an attempt to correct an apparent malfunction. This made the planned computer-controlled reentry impossible and required an open-loop ballistic reentry. All other mission objectives were met. The flight crew began preparing for EVA immediately after terminating the stationkeeping exercise. Although preparations went smoothly, McDivitt decided to delay EVA for one revolution, both because of the high level of activity required and because deletion of the rendezvous attempt reduced the tightness of the schedule. Ground control approved the decision. The spacecraft hatch was opened at 4 hours 18 minutes into the flight and White exited 12 minutes later, using a hand-held maneuvering gun. White reentered the spacecraft 20 minutes after leaving it. The hatch was closed at 4 hours 54 minutes ground elapsed time. Drifting flight was maintained for the next two and one-half days to conserve propellant. The spacecraft landed in the Atlantic Ocean about 725 km east of Cape Kennedy - some 65 km from its nominal landing point. The crew boarded a helicopter 34 minutes after landing and was transported to the prime recovery ship, the aircraft carrier Wasp. Spacecraft recovery was completed at 2:28 p.m., a little more than 100 hours after Gemini 4 had been launched. Gemini 4 was the first mission to be controlled from the mission control center in Houston.
The space walk was hurriedly included after the Russian first in Voskhod 2. White seemed to have a lot more fun than Leonov and McDivitt took the pictures that came to symbolize man in space. With this flight the US finally started to match Russian flight durations.
An Air Force Titan II Gemini Launch Vehicle lifted Gemini 7 (GT-7) into orbit from Cape Canaveral. Astronauts Frank Borman and James Lovell completed the 14-day mission, the longest U.S. space flight to date (330 hours, 35 minutes) and 206 revolutions, and were recovered on 18 December, 700 miles southwest of Bermuda. During their record flight, Borman and Lovell piloted GT-7 as the target vehicle for the first space rendezvous between manned spacecraft. Astronauts Walter Schirra and Thomas Stafford aboard Gemini 6 were launched on 15 December and completed the first space rendezvous with Gemini 7 the same day. Primary objectives of the mission were demonstrating manned orbital flight for approximately 14 days and evaluating the physiological effects of a long-duration flight on the crew. Among the secondary objectives were providing a rendezvous target for the Gemini VI-A spacecraft, stationkeeping with the second stage of the launch vehicle and with spacecraft No. 6, conducting 20 experiments, using lightweight pressure suits, and evaluating the spacecraft reentry guidance capability. All objectives were successfully achieved with the exception of two experiments lost because of equipment failure. Shortly after separation from the launch vehicle, the crew maneuvered the spacecraft to within 60 feet of the second stage and stationkept for about 15 minutes. The exercise was terminated by a separation maneuver, and the spacecraft was powered down in preparation for the 14-day mission. The crew performed five maneuvers during the course of the mission to increase orbital lifetime and place the spacecraft in proper orbit for rendezvous with spacecraft No. 6. Rendezvous was successfully accomplished during the 11th day in orbit, with spacecraft No. 7 serving as a passive target for spacecraft No. 6. About 45 hours into the mission, Lovell removed his pressure suit. He again donned his suit at 148 hours, while Borman removed his. Some 20 hours later Lovell again removed his suit, and both crewmen flew the remainder of the mission without suits, except for the rendezvous and reentry phases. With three exceptions, the spacecraft and its systems performed nominally throughout the entire mission. The delayed-time telemetry playback tape recorder malfunctioned about 201hours after liftoff, resulting in the loss of all delayed-time telemetry data for the remainder of the mission. Two fuel cell stacks showed excessive degradation late in the flight and were taken off the line; the remaining four stacks furnished adequate electrical power until reentry. Two attitude thrusters performed poorly after 283 hours in the mission. Retrofire occurred exactly on time, and reentry and landing were nominal. The spacecraft missed the planned landing point by only 10.3 km miles, touching down on December 18. The crew arrived at the prime recovery ship, the aircraft carrier Wasp, half an hour later. The spacecraft was recovered half an hour after the crew.
Far surpassing the Gemini 5 flight, Gemini 7 set a manned spaceflight endurance record that would endure for years. The incredibly boring mission, was made more uncomfortable by the extensive biosensors. This was somewhat offset by the soft spacesuits (used only once) and permission to spend most of the time in long johns. The monotony was broken just near the end by the rendezvous with Gemini 6.
The second planned manned Apollo flight crew was named by NASA. Prime crew members were Walter M. Schirra, Jr., command pilot; Donn F. Eisele, senior pilot; and R. Walter Cunningham, pilot. Backup crewmen were Frank Borman, command pilot; Thomas P. Stafford, senior pilot; and Michael Collins, pilot. The flight was scheduled for 1967. It would be the first space mission for Eisele and Cunningham.
The second manned Apollo mission was planned as an open-ended earth orbital mission up to 14 days. Increased emphasis on scientific experiments as well as repeating some activities from the first planned manned flight would characterize the mission. (The first planned manned Apollo mission was ended by a tragic accident during a test January 27, 1967.)
It was originally planned to make a second solo flight test of the Block I Apollo CSM on a Saturn IB. The flight was finally seen as unnecessary; the decision to cancel it came on November 16, 1966. After the Apollo 1 fire on January 27, 1967, the Schirra crew was assigned to Apollo 7, the first manned flight test of the new Block II Apollo CSM-101.
NASA Task Team - Block II Redefinition, CSM, was established by ASPO. The team - to be in residence at North American Aviation during the redefinition period - was to provide timely response to questions and inputs on detail design, overall quality and reliability, test and checkout, baseline conditions, configuration control, and schedules.
Astronaut Frank Borman was named Task Team Manager and group leaders were: Design, Aaron Cohen; Quality and Reliability and Test and Checkout Procedures, Scott H. Simpkinson; Materials, Jerry W. Craig; Specifications and Configuration Control, Richard E. Lindeman; and Scheduling, Douglas R. Broome.
The third Apollo flight announced on December 22, 1966, was the Apollo E mission - a test of the Apollo lunar module in high earth orbit. In order to beat the Russians around the moon, it was decided that the E mission would be cancelled and instead Borman's crew would fly an Apollo CSM into lunar orbit. This became Apollo 8.
Kleinknecht had concluded his CSM 103-106 configuration study by August 13 and determined the high-gain antenna was the most critical item. Kraft was still "GO" and said December 20-26 (except December 25) offered best launch times; he had also looked at January launch possibilities. Slayton had decided to assign the 104 crew to the mission. He had talked to crew commander Frank Borman and Borman was interested.
In a Mission Preparation Directive sent to the three manned space flight Centers, NASA Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips stated that the following changes would be effected in planning and preparation for Apollo flights:
Apollo 8 (AS-503) was launched from KSC Launch Complex 39, Pad A, at 7:51 a.m. EST Dec. 21 on a Saturn V booster. The spacecraft crew was made up of Frank Borman, James A. Lovell, Jr., and William A. Anders. Apollo 8 was the first spacecraft to be launched by a Saturn V with a crew on board, and that crew became the first men to fly around the moon.
All launch and boost phases were normal and the spacecraft with the S-IVB stage was inserted into an earth-parking orbit of 190.6 by 183.2 kilometers above the earth. After post-insertion checkout of spacecraft systems, the S-IVB stage was reignited and burned 5 minutes 9 seconds to place the spacecraft and stage in a trajectory toward the moon - and the Apollo 8 crew became the first men to leave the earth's gravitational field.
The spacecraft separated from the S-IVB 3 hours 20 minutes after launch and made two separation maneuvers using the SM's reaction control system. Eleven hours after liftoff, the first midcourse correction increased velocity by 26.4 kilometers per hour. The coast phase was devoted to navigation sightings, two television transmissions, and system checks. The second midcourse correction, about 61 hours into the flight, changed velocity by 1.5 kilometers per hour.
The 4-minute 15-second lunar-orbit-insertion maneuver was made 69 hours after launch, placing the spacecraft in an initial lunar orbit of 310.6 by 111.2 kilometers from the moon's surface - later circularized to 112.4 by 110.6 kilometers. During the lunar coast phase the crew made numerous landing-site and landmark sightings, took lunar photos, and prepared for the later maneuver to enter the trajectory back to the earth.
On the fourth day, Christmas Eve, communications were interrupted as Apollo 8 passed behind the moon, and the astronauts became the first men to see the moon's far side. Later that day , during the evening hours in the United States, the crew read the first 10 verses of Genesis on television to earth and wished viewers "goodnight, good luck, a Merry Christmas and God bless all of you - all of you on the good earth."
Subsequently, TV Guide for May 10-16, 1969, claimed that one out of every four persons on earth - nearly 1 billion people in 64 countries - heard the astronauts' reading and greeting, either on radio or on TV; and delayed broadcasts that same day reached 30 additional countries.
On Christmas Day, while the spacecraft was completing its 10th revolution of the moon, the service propulsion system engine was fired for three minutes 24 seconds, increasing the velocity by 3,875 km per hr and propelling Apollo 8 back toward the earth, after 20 hours 11 minutes in lunar orbit. More television was sent to earth on the way back.
On the sixth day, the crew prepared for reentry and the SM separated from the CM on schedule. Parachute deployment and other re-entry events were normal. The Apollo 8 CM splashed down in the Pacific, apex down, at 15:51 GMT - 147 hours and 42 seconds after liftoff. As planned, helicopters and aircraft hovered over the spacecraft and pararescue personnel were not deployed until local sunrise, 50 minutes after splashdown. The crew was picked up and reached the recovery ship U.S.S. Yorktown at 17:20 GMT. All mission objectives and detailed test objectives were achieved, as well as five that were not originally planned.
The crew was in excellent condition, and another major step toward the first lunar landing had been accomplished.
Kamanin is advised that US astronaut Borman will arrive in Moscow in July, and he is to put together a program for him. Kamanin notes it has been difficult for the cosmonauts to appear in public - citizens pester them with unanswerable questions about the status of the Soviet moon landing program.
Borman was to arrive with his wife and two sons (ages 15 and 17). There is lots of high-level interest in the visit and meetings. They are unsure -- is Borman just a visiting astronaut or an official representative of the American aggressors? Borman's plane makes an emergency landing in Canada when an engine fails en route. His late arrival wrecks Kamanin's carefully-laid out schedule for his trip. Kamanin notes that in June 1968 the VVS suffered four times the accident rate as a year earlier. Two An-12's, one An-12 and an Il-14, and two Tu-22's were lost in three midair collisions, costing 131 lives.
Borman arrives from Canada at 04:40 after further delay. His wife is worried that the weather in Novosibirsk might be called (it's 32 deg C there!). By 11:00 they are already packed onto a Tu-124 bound for Leningrad together with Feoktistov, Titov and his wife, Shatalov, and 30 foreign correspondents. There are hardly any Soviet correspondents - the government has ordered them not to cover the visit.
On the key day of his visit to Russia, Tereshkova shows Mrs Borman around, while Shatalov accompanies Mr Borman. Borman shows the cosmonauts a film on his Apollo 8 mission and answers questions. Then the Soviets show him exce3rpts from the films 'Road to Space' (on the Gagarin mission) and 'Four in Space' (on the Soyuz 4/5 mission). Beregovoi gives the Bormans a model of the Vostok, Popovich a photo album, and Titov guides them through the museum. In the evening twenty attend a dinner where toasts are exchanged in the Russian manner. Borman and Volynov exchange wristwatches. Borman presented Titov with the watch he received from President Johnson after the Gemini 7 mission - it is to be put in the museum. Eight hours are spent in total at Star City. Kamanin finds Borman to be disciplined and precise. He is at the same time a skilled orator, diplomat, and born politician.
Tests of the spacecraft at Baikonur showed 40 to 60 defects, requiring replacement of 17 to 25 equipment items. This demonstrates the poor quality of final assembly and test at TsKBEM and inadequate measures to protect the spacecraft during storage and transport to the launch site. Soyuz 6 is to launch on 4-6 October, followed by another spacecraft each day thereafter. Nixon has invited two cosmonauts to visit the USA in November -- this is seen by Kamanin as the work of Borman to reciprocate for his visit to the USSR in February.