William Anders, the Apollo 8 astronaut who took the Earthrise image, died in a plane crash

SEATTLE (AP) — Retired Maj. Gen. William Anders, former Apollo 8 The astronaut who took the famous “Earthrise” photo showing the planet as a shaded blue marble from space in 1968 was killed Friday when the plane he was piloting alone plunged into the waters off the San Juan Islands in Washington state. He was 90 years old. His son, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Greg Anders, confirmed his death to The Associated Press.

“The family is devastated,” Greg Anders said. “He was a great pilot and will be sorely missed.”

William Anders said the photo was his most important contribution to the space program, due to the environmental philosophical impact it had, along with ensuring that Apollo 8’s command module and service module worked.

This image, the first color image of Earth from space, is one of the most important images in modern history for the way it changed the way humans view the planet. The image is credited with sparking a global environmental movement to show how delicate and isolated Earth appears from space.

Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly, also a retired NASA astronaut, wrote on the social platform Space and explorers. My thoughts are with his family and friends.”

A report came in around 11:40 a.m. that an older model plane crashed into the water and sank near the north end of Jones Island, San Juan County Sheriff Eric Peter said.

Only the pilot was on board the Beech A45 at the time, according to the FAA.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the accident.

See also  The three zodiac signs with the rough horoscope on Thursday, August 18, 2022

William Anders said in 1997 NASA Oral History He said in an interview that he did not believe the Apollo 8 mission was without risk but that there were important national, national and exploratory reasons for moving forward. He estimated that there was about a one in three chance that the crew would not return, the same chance that the mission would succeed, and the same chance that the mission would not start at all. He said he suspected Christopher Columbus sailed with worse odds.

He recounted how the land seemed fragile and physically insignificant, but it was home.

“We were going backwards and upside down, not really seeing the Earth or the sun, when we turned around and saw the first Earthrise,” he said. “This was definitely, by far, the most impressive thing. Seeing this delicate, colorful orb that looked to me like a Christmas tree ornament appear above this stark, very ugly lunar landscape, was truly jarring.”

Anders and his wife, Valerie, founded the Heritage Aviation Museum in Washington state in 1996. It is now based at a regional airport in Burlington, and includes 15 aircraft, several antique military vehicles, a library, and many artifacts donated by veterans, according to what the “NB” website reported. bad”. Museum website. Two of his sons helped him manage it.

The couple moved to Orcas Island, in the San Juan Archipelago, in 1993, and maintained a second home in their hometown of San Diego, according to a biography posted on the museum’s website. They had six children and 13 grandchildren.

See also  Jann Wenner's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame reign ended in 20 minutes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *