William Anders, the former American astronaut who took a historic photograph of the Earth as seen from the Moon in 1968, died in a plane crash at the age of 90, his family reported.

Anders was piloting a small plane that crashed off the coast of Washington state (northwestern United States) on Friday morning, June 7, his son told US media. He did not go with companions.

His body was later recovered by a dive team, The Seattle Times reported, citing a Coast Guard spokesperson.

A member of the Apollo 8 mission in December 1968, William Anders became one of the first humans to orbit the Moon, along with two other Americans, Frank Borman and James Lovell.

The crew circled the Moon 10 times without landing, before successfully returning to Earth on December 27, 1968.

Historical photo

In one of the lunar orbits, William Anders captured a photograph of the bright blue Earth against the vast darkness of space, with the cratered surface of the Moon in the foreground.

We had been going backwards and forwards, we didn’t really see the Earth or the Sun, and when we turned around we saw the Earth’s first sunrise“he said in a NASA interview in 1997.

“It was certainly, by far, the most impressive thing. Seeing this delicate and colorful orb that to me looked like a Christmas tree ornament emerging over this desolate and ugly lunar landscape,” he said.

The photograph, titled ‘Earthrise‘ (Earth Dawn) appears frequently in summaries of key historical images and was included in Life magazine’s book “100 Photographs That Changed the World.”

An original version sold at a Copenhagen auction in 2022 for about $12,000.

In 1968, during Apollo 8, Bill Anders offered humanity one of the most profound gifts an astronaut can give.“wrote the head of NASA, Bill Nelson, on the social network X.

“He traveled to the threshold of the Moon and helped us all see something else: ourselves. He embodied the lessons and purpose of exploration. We will miss him,” he added.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

Born on October 17, 1933 in Hong Kong, William Anders graduated from the United States Naval Academy and later earned a master’s degree in nuclear engineering.

After becoming an astronaut, he held several technology-related government positions, was the first chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and served as U.S. ambassador to Norway.

Source: https://www.noticiascaracol.com/mundo/la-historica-foto-que-tomo-william-anders-astronauta-del-apolo-8-que-murio-en-accidente-cb20

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