Retired Apollo 8 Astronaut Dies in Plane Crash

According to Greg Anders, the late astronaut’s son, the family is devastated by the loss. He described his father as a great pilot and expressed their deep sadness. The crash, involving a Beechcraft T-34 Mentor plane, occurred around 11:40 a.m. local time on Friday, June 7, as reported by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Northwest confirmed the incident and initiated a search and rescue operation near Roche Harbor, Washington. However, the tragic outcome has been confirmed, and the investigation into the crash is ongoing.

William Anders, born in Hong Kong in 1933 and raised in San Diego, California, had an impressive career. After graduating from the United States Naval Academy, he went on to earn a master’s degree in nuclear engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology. He joined NASA in 1962, participating in missions such as Gemini XI and serving as a backup pilot for Apollo 11.

During the Apollo 8 mission, Anders, along with Frank F. Borman II and James A. Lovell Jr., captured the famous “Earthrise” image, showing Earth rising above the lunar surface. Following his time at NASA, Anders held various important positions, including executive secretary of the National Aeronautics and Space Council and chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The death of William Anders is a significant loss to the space exploration community. He is survived by his wife Valerie and six children. The National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA are currently investigating the crash to determine the cause of this tragic accident.