Former astronaut William Anders dies in plane crash in Washington

Former astronaut William Anders dies in plane crash in Washington

seattleWilliam Anders, the former Apollo 8 astronaut who took the iconic “Earthrise” photo, in which the Earth appears as a shadowed blue marble from space in 1968, died Friday when the small plane he was piloting alone crashed in waters off the San Francisco Islands. Juan, in Washington state. He was 90 years old.

His son, retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, Greg Andersconfirmed his death to The Associated Press.

“The family is devastated,” he said. “He was a great driver and we will miss him terribly.”

Anders, a retired major general, went on to say that the photo was his most significant contribution to the space program, as was making sure the Apollo 8 command module and service module worked.

The photograph, the first color image of Earth from space, is one of the most important in modern history for the way it changed how humans viewed the planet. The image is credited with kick-starting the global environmental movement by showing how delicate and isolated the Earth looked from space.

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