Iconic Apollo 8 Astronaut William Anders Dies in Plane Crash

Retired Maj. Gen. William Anders, famous for the 'Earthrise' photo from the Apollo 8 mission, died at age 90 in a plane crash off the San Juan Islands. His family confirmed the tragedy, reflecting on his significant contributions to the space program and the global environmental movement.

PTI | Seattle | Updated: 08-06-2024 06:32 IST | Created: 08-06-2024 06:32 IST
Iconic Apollo 8 Astronaut William Anders Dies in Plane Crash
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Retired Maj. Gen. William Anders, renowned for capturing the iconic "Earthrise" photo during the Apollo 8 mission in 1968, tragically died on Friday when his plane crashed into the waters off the San Juan Islands in Washington state. The 90-year-old was piloting the aircraft alone, confirmed by his son, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Greg Anders.

"The family is devastated," Greg Anders shared with The Associated Press. "He was a great pilot, and we will miss him terribly." William Anders had previously emphasized that the Earthrise photo was his most significant contribution to the space program, thanks to its profound ecological and philosophical impact and its role in ensuring the Apollo 8 mission's success.

The photograph, the first color image of Earth from space, dramatically altered human perspectives on our planet. It is widely credited with igniting the global environmental movement. Notable figures, including Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly, a retired NASA astronaut, praised Anders for changing how we viewed our world and inspiring future generations of explorers. "Bill Anders forever changed our perspective of our planet and ourselves with his famous Earthrise photo on Apollo 8. He inspired me and generations of astronauts and explorers. My thoughts are with his family and friends," Kelly wrote on X.

An older-model plane, recorded as a Beech A45, crashed into the water around 11.40 am and submerged near Jones Island's north end, reported San Juan County Sheriff Eric Peter. The Federal Aviation Association confirmed that Anders was the sole occupant. The National Transportation Safety Board and FAA are currently investigating the crash.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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