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Apollo 8 Astronaut Passes Away

An Apollo 8 astronaut, William Anders, who became very popular because of a photograph, passed away in the middle of a plane crash.

William Anders was 90 years old at the time of the crash this June 7, 2024.

The Apollo 8 astronaut, who in 1968 took the iconic photo showing the Earth rising above the Moon’s horizon, died at the age of 90 when the small plane he was traveling in crashed in Seattle, NASA confirmed.

“In 1968, during Apollo 8, Will Anders offered humanity one of the most profound gifts an astronaut can give. He traveled to the threshold of the Moon and helped us all see something else: ourselves,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson stated on the agency’s X account.

The U.S. Coast Guard’s Pacific Northwest Division and the San Juan Sheriff’s Office responded this afternoon to a call about an accident between Orcas Island and Johns Island (Washington state) involving an older model aircraft that sank when it hit the water, according to NBC News.

He was the Apollo 8 astronaut; it was unknown at the time how many people were on the spacecraft.

On December 24, 1968, Anders, along with astronauts Frank Borman, who was the mission commander, and Jim Lovell became the first to orbit the moon and the first to witness the image captured in the famous photo.

While the spacecraft was in the process of rotating, Anders took this iconic ‘Earthrise’ photograph showing the earth rising above the moon’s horizon.

Apollo 8 Astronaut Tribute: Will Anders

In 2018, the International Astronomical Union commemorated the event by naming a 25-mile diameter crater “Anders’ Earthrise” in tribute to this Apollo 8 astronaut.

The photo made it possible to see the planet from a great distance for the first time.

After 25 hours of flight Andres began taking pictures.


The Apollo 8 astronaut also said in that interview that he believed he had a one in three chance of not surviving the mission.

Anders, who was born in Hong Kong on October 17, 1933, was also a backup pilot for the Gemini XI mission and the Apollo 11 mission in which the first humans landed on the moon on July 20, 1969.

Prior to being selected to be an astronaut in 1964, Anders was a fighter pilot in the Air Force and had four sons and two daughters.

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