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Frank Borman, Indiana astronaut who led historic Apollo 8 mission, dies at 95

Apollo 8 commander Frank Borman dies

(CNN) — Apollo astronaut and Col. Frank Borman, who commanded the first mission to orbit the moon, has died in Billings, Montana, NASA announced. He was 95.

“Today we remember one of NASA’s best. Astronaut Frank Borman was a true American hero. Among his many accomplishments, he served as the commander of the Apollo 8 mission, humanity’s first mission around the Moon in 1968,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson Thursday in a statement.

“In addition to his critical role as commander of the Apollo 8 mission, he is a veteran of Gemini 7, spending 14 days in low-Earth orbit and conducting the first rendezvous in space, coming within a few feet of the Gemini 6 spacecraft,” Nelson said.

Borman, who was born in Gary, Indiana, died on Tuesday, Nov. 7, according to the statement.

In 1967, Borman was a member of the Apollo 204 review board, which investigated a fire that killed three astronauts on Apollo I, according to NASA’s short biography. Borman would later lead the team that reengineered the Apollo spacecraft.

According to the statement, Borman continued his aviation work following his NASA career as the CEO of Eastern Airlines.

His death follows that of Apollo astronaut Thomas K. Mattingly II, who died on Oct. 31 at the age of 87.