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For many, the idea of flying high above Earth and into outer space is a dream that they will never, ever, live to accomplish.
However, for Frank Borman, a 92-year-old ex-astronaut who went to space in the first ever mission to the Moon with Apollo 8, in December 1968, it's actually anything but.
In an extremely candid interview with This American Life in 2018, he said that he was never really very interested by space travel, and was simply keen to beat the Russians in the Cold War:
I was there because it was the Cold War.I wanted to participate in this American adventure of beating the Soviets. But that’s the only thing that motivated me. Beating the damn Russians.
I was there because it was the Cold War.
I wanted to participate in this American adventure of beating the Soviets. But that’s the only thing that motivated me. Beating the damn Russians.
He continued to explain how he had absolutely no interest in space, exemplified by his comments on the feeling of weightlessness.
[It was interesting for] maybe for the first 30 seconds. Then it became accepted.
He was equally unmoved by how the Moon looked:
Devastation. Meteor craters. No colour at all, just different shades of grey.
For him, the only part of the entire experience that he did find of interest was simply looking back at the Earth, and seeing it above the Moon:
The dearest things in life were back on Earth – my family, my wife, my parents.For me, that was the high point of the flight, from an emotional standpoint.
The dearest things in life were back on Earth – my family, my wife, my parents.
For me, that was the high point of the flight, from an emotional standpoint.
To top it off, when he arrived home, he didn't even talk about the experience with his wife or family, who also seemed rather indifferent to the whole 'space' thing.
The last thing on my mind was talking about what the Moon looked like.Nobody asked!
The last thing on my mind was talking about what the Moon looked like.
Borman was even offered another chance to head into space and walk on the Moon with another mission, however he retired from NASA and turned it down.
He also rarely ever thinks about the missions these days, as he's more interested in caring for his wife who has Alzheimer's, reports IFL Science.
In a final comment about the whole affair, he was blunt in his assessment:
I probably am [the worst person to go to the Moon].
Couldn't agree more, Frank!