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Frank Borman and Ken Mattingly's death


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Last night I read that both Frank Borman and Ken Mattingly died. Borman was the Commander of Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the Moon. And Borman, Bill Anders and Jim Lovell manned this first manned flight of the Saturn V rocket.

They famously broadcast a Christmas Eve reading from Lunar orbit and everybody ... in the WORLD ... watched it!

You youngsters won't remember the excitement of those Moon missions and especially Apollo 8's ... the risks those 3 guys took. I can't imagine today's generation of fragile snowflakes even thinking of doing this. My gosh, they'd be away from their precious phones ... and wigs and make-up! 

 

Borman also spent 14 days with Jim Lovell in Gemini 7 a tiny, teeny cockpit in 1965 or '66 ... amazing stuff.

 

Mattingly was the Command Module pilot on Apollo 16, with Charlie Duke and John Young ... another remarkable Moon Landing mission. Mattingly was also instrumental in helping the Apollo 13 crew deal with a dying Command Module on Apollo 13.

 

Frank Borman, I watched a news article on him a few years ago, was still flying his pwn airplane at 92 years old ... what a remarkable generation of men they were!

 

https://www.cnn.com/2023/11/09/us/frank-borman-apollo-astronaut-obit-scn/index.html

 

Rest in Peace gentlemen ... 

 

 

Edited by K2Pete
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I have the Spacecraft Films set of the Apollo 8 mission and a few years ago I thought it would be a fun idea to watch Christmas Eve in "real" time. It took me back to 15 years old watching it in the dark with the Christmas tree glowing in the other corner, and the scent of a real tree. A big box under the tree that year might have been the Apollo stack. If it wasn't, then the Apollo stack would have been from the previous year (I don't think so...) on the coffee table watching the TV, too. For the last few years, I've expanded the ritual from just Christmas Eve to watching more of the Apollo 8 mission in "real" time, just the launch and the transmissions from space. It's reliving a wonderful memory. Those guys, Apollo 8, were really incredible. If insane, doing what they were doing, out there, everything untested outside of orbit. I think the entire planet was hoilding it's collective breath,when we waited to find out if the SPS engine managed to work and get them into lunar orbit, not crashed or whipped off into space.  And then waited breathlessly again days later for them to come out from behind the moon  if it workked again and would bring them  come back to earth. Truly amazing life and death drama.

 

There's a writer here in Edmonton who has written a biography of Pat Borman, and what she went through for  all those years. Haven't read it, but boy seems Borman was sure devoted to her for the rest of his life. 

 

Amazing people, actually thousands of them, who made Apollo 8 and everyone who has gone into space possible. 

 

The Christmas Eve broadcast will a quite bittersweet his year. A toast to their spirits! 

 

 

Edited by SpacecraftGuy
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The thing that always gets me is how so many pieces of this incredible inflection point in history is still tangible and accessible to us. I'm in northwestern Washington and Bill Anders has his small aircraft collection and little air museum less than an hour from my house. The guy who took one of the most significant photos in human history probably passes by my coworkers at the grocery store and I've been watching him fly his Mustang and Skyraider around here for decades. Not only that, but a retired Navy friend from work had collaborated with Jim Lovell when he was at the Great Lakes Naval Station because Lovell owned a bar he liked to use when they had to entertain the big-wigs that came through. You just can't build such short connections to other explorers or innovators and I think that's part of what helps keep the excitement alive.

 

I really enjoyed "Apollo 8" by Jeffrey Kluger. Highly recommended if you want a good read on the whole mission and the build up to taking on such an ambitious and risky mission.

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On 11/11/2023 at 6:14 AM, K2Pete said:

Last night I read that both Frank Borman and Ken Mattingly died. Borman was the Commander of Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the Moon. And Borman, Bill Anders and Jim Lovell manned this first manned flight of the Saturn V rocket.

They famously broadcast a Christmas Eve reading from Lunar orbit and everybody ... in the WORLD ... watched it!

You youngsters won't remember the excitement of those Moon missions and especially Apollo 8's ... the risks those 3 guys took. I can't imagine today's generation of fragile snowflakes even thinking of doing this. My gosh, they'd be away from their precious phones ... and wigs and make-up! 

 

Borman also spent 14 days with Jim Lovell in Gemini 7 a tiny, teeny cockpit in 1965 or '66 ... amazing stuff.

 

Mattingly was the Command Module pilot on Apollo 16, with Charlie Duke and John Young ... another remarkable Moon Landing mission. Mattingly was also instrumental in helping the Apollo 13 crew deal with a dying Command Module on Apollo 13.

 

Frank Borman, I watched a news article on him a few years ago, was still flying his pwn airplane at 92 years old ... what a remarkable generation of men they were!

 

https://www.cnn.com/2023/11/09/us/frank-borman-apollo-astronaut-obit-scn/index.html

 

Rest in Peace gentlemen ... 

 

 

Sadly, we are at the end of an era. Soon there will be no one who was there, to tell us what happened and how it was, and was a unique time in history.

 

I was lucky to meet Ken Mattingly in 1999. I was at a user conference for a product that I use for my profession. The advertisement was all about Apollo 13. At the end of his presentation, I was lucky to chat with him about the Apollo 16 Mission STS 4 and 51C. He was intrigued about the question that I asked, and he notes that I took. Until he found out that was a space modeler. It was one of the nicest chats that I have with an Apollo astronaut.

 

I am a guy who was too young to remember Apollo and I must discover it through videos newspapers and books. I am more of the Shuttle era.  But Apollo really impacted me and was sad to know that we quit after Apollo 17.

 

For me, it is unbelievable that in this era we advance so little, and we all know why. More trouble is than in era of the instant information, we have more people who believe that it never happened, and so many idiots who spread lies and conspiracy theories.

 

Thanks, you for posting Pete.

 

Ricardo    

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