Frank Borman was famous for being the Commander of Apollo 8 mission in 1968. As one of the very first people to orbit the moon in space, Frank revealed what that moment was like. His response is shocking everyone.
In 1968, the Apollo 8 crew of three: Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot James Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders, made history. As a star-studded crew, Apollo 8 earned the title of the first manned spacecraft to leave Earth’s orbit, reach the Earth's Moon, orbit it and return safely to Earth. They had made history.
While it sounds like a riveting experience- to say the least- Commander Frank Norman recalls the experience to be one thing: boring.
Most astronauts had dreams of making space history, but Frank became an astronaut for a single reason that had nothing to do with making space history, but rather it had everything to do with patriotism. Frank wanted to join Apollo 8 simply to beat the Russians during the Cold War.
His crew member, Command Module Pilot James Lovell, was the true advocate for space. Frank shared, “Lovell was mesmerized by space and exploration, and wanted desperately to explore the moon. I was there because it was a battle in the Cold War.”
During Frank’s experience as the commander on the iconic space expedition, he says “it was only interesting for 30 seconds, then I couldn’t wait to get home to my family.” Frank had a wife, Susan, and two sons back at home. He knew they were terrified while he was away. All he wanted was to return home to his family.
Most people dream of what it would like to be in zero gravity looking back at earth while spinning in space, but Frank shared that flying around weightless in space “was cool for the first 30 seconds, then it became accepted.” Even Frank’s reaction to seeing the moon unclose was less than expected. He said it a devastation and he described the moon as “meteor craters, no color at all. Just different shades of gray.”
Wow. Not at all how you’d expect the commander of Apollo 8 to react, is it? At the end of the day, Frank just wanted to beat the Russians and be back with his family.