Former Apollo 8 Astronaut William Anders Passes Away in Tragic Plane Crash

Former astronaut William Anders, known for capturing the iconic “Earthrise” image during the Apollo 8 mission, tragically passed away in a plane crash off the coast of Washington state. The 90-year-old pilot was the only one aboard the Beech A45 aircraft when it went down in the waters off Roche Harbor. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are currently investigating the incident.

Anders, born in Hong Kong in 1933, was a key figure in the NASA space program, selected as an astronaut in 1964. He served as a lunar module pilot for Apollo 8 and was a backup pilot for Gemini XI and Apollo 11 flights. His contributions to space exploration and the environmental movement are widely recognized and celebrated.

The Apollo 8 mission, where Anders, along with Frank Borman and Jim Lovell, became the first humans to leave Earth orbit and circle the moon, was a groundbreaking moment in space history. The crew’s iconic “Earthrise” photo captured the beauty and fragility of our planet, inspiring generations of environmentalists and explorers.

As the space community mourns the loss of a true pioneer, Anders’ legacy will continue to inspire future generations to reach for the stars and protect our precious planet. Rest in peace, William Anders.