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William Anders: “Apollo 8” astronaut dies in crash

William Anders: “Apollo 8” astronaut dies in crash

Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders, who became known for the Earthrise photo, has died in a plane crash.

William Anders (1933-2024), the former “Apollo 8” astronaut who took the famous “Earthrise” photo in 1968, which shows the blue-white Earth in the deep black of space behind the lunar surface, died on Friday (June 7). According to media reports, he was piloting a small plane that crashed into the sea off the San Juan Islands in Washington State. He was 90 years old. His son, Greg Anders, explained that the crashed plane belonged to William Anders. There were apparently no passengers on board.

Anders was born on October 17, 1933 in Hong Kong and attended a military academy and the Air Force Institute of Technology. In 1964, he was selected as an astronaut for the NASA space program. He completed more than 6,000 flight hours.

“He helped us all to see something else: ourselves”

In addition to the Apollo 8 mission, William Anders was also a backup pilot on the Gemini 11 and Apollo 11 flights. Anders traveled to the threshold of the moon on the Apollo 8 mission and “helped us all see something else: ourselves. He embodied the lessons and purpose of exploration. We will miss him.”

The “Earthrise” photo was taken on Christmas Eve 1968, when Anders, Frank Borman (1928-2023), and Jim Lovell (96) orbited the moon. It quickly became a symbol of the environmental movement. Anders, Borman and Lovell were the first people to leave low Earth orbit and orbit the moon, setting the stage for the Apollo 11 moon landing the following year. The Apollo 8 astronauts were the first people to see the far side of the moon with their own eyes. According to media reports, the flight is considered by many experts to be the most dangerous mission of the space program.

Source: Stern

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