The crew of the Apollo 8 spacecraft, led by Borman, reached lunar orbit for the first time in human history. The ship completed 10 laps, after which the crew returned to Earth.
For 40-year-old Borman, this was his second space flight. The astronaut earned his pilot’s license at age 15, served in the U.S. Air Force in the Philippines, earned a master’s degree from the California Institute of Technology and was an assistant professor of thermodynamics and aerodynamics of fluids at the U.S. Military Academy, where he previously served, graduating eighth out of 670 graduates.
In 1960, he qualified for the pilot test school and was accepted into the second group of astronauts. In 1966, he completed a 14-day spaceflight aboard Gemini 7, which made its first orbital encounter with another manned spacecraft, Gemini 6A. In 1967, he participated in the investigation committee into the Apollo 1 spacecraft fire, in which three people died during preparations for the space flight.
After retiring from his career as an astronaut, he served as Vice President, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Eastern Airlines. After leaving the 38,000-employee company, the employees became owners of an auto repair shop in New Mexico. At the age of seventy, he bought a ranch in Montana, where he lived until his death.
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