Apollo 8 Astronaut William Anders Dies in Plane Crash at 90

William Anders, the Apollo 8 astronaut famous for taking the first color photo of Earth from space, has died at 90 in a plane crash.

His son, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Greg Anders, confirmed to the Associated Press that William was the only person on board the plane, which crashed into the water near Jones Island, Washington, on June 7. “The family is devastated,” Greg said. “He was a great pilot and we will miss him terribly.”

The National Transportation Safety Board and FAA are investigating the crash.

Anders captured the iconic “Earthrise” photo during Apollo 8’s fourth orbit of the moon in 1968, showing Earth as a colorful orb rising above the moon’s stark landscape. This mission was the first human flight to travel to the moon and back.

NASA administrator Bill Nelson and Senator Mark Kelly, a retired NASA astronaut, honored Anders on social media, highlighting his impact on how we view our planet.

Nelson noted, “He traveled to the threshold of the Moon and helped all of us see something else: ourselves.” Kelly added, “He inspired me and generations of astronauts and explorers.

For more details, refer to Parade’s coverage of the story.


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