Nasa ‘Earthrise’ astronaut dies at 90 in plane crash

On December 22, 2021, the world lost a true pioneer of space exploration with the tragic death of astronaut Bill Anders in a plane crash. Anders, who was 90 years old at the time of his passing, is best known for his role in the iconic “Earthrise” photograph taken during the Apollo 8 mission in 1968.

Anders was born on October 17, 1933, in Hong Kong, but grew up in Annapolis, Maryland. He attended the United States Naval Academy and later joined the U.S. Air Force, where he became a fighter pilot. In 1963, he was selected as one of 14 astronauts for NASA’s third group of astronauts.

Anders made history in December 1968 when he, along with fellow astronauts Frank Borman and Jim Lovell, became the first humans to orbit the moon during the Apollo 8 mission. It was during this mission that Anders captured the now-famous “Earthrise” photograph, which showed the Earth rising over the lunar horizon. The image became a symbol of the fragility and beauty of our planet and helped to inspire the environmental movement.

After his time with NASA, Anders went on to have a successful career in the aerospace industry, working for companies such as General Electric and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He also served as the U.S. ambassador to Norway from 1976 to 1977.

Anders remained a respected figure in the space community throughout his life, and his passing has been met with an outpouring of tributes and condolences from his colleagues and admirers. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson described Anders as a “true American hero” and praised his contributions to space exploration.

The circumstances of Anders’ death are still under investigation, but his legacy as a trailblazer in space exploration will live on for generations to come. As we mourn the loss of this remarkable individual, we can take solace in the fact that his groundbreaking work has paved the way for future generations of astronauts to continue pushing the boundaries of human exploration.

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