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Apollo 8 astronaut behind iconic photo killed in plane crash

todayJune 7, 2024 1

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SEATTLE – Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders, who was credited with taking one of the most iconic photos of the Earth and Moon, died Friday during a plane crash in Washington state.Authorities said the vintage Air Force T-34 Mentor crashed before noon local time off Jones Island, and Anders was the only sole onboard.Video taken in the moments before the crash showed the 90-year-old pilot performing maneuvers but was unable to escape a dive before crashing into the water.Anders’ loved ones, including fellow space enthusiasts, took to social media after learning about the crash to reminisce about the astronaut’s contributions to humankind.”In 1968, during Apollo 8, Bill Anders offered to humanity among the deepest of gifts an astronaut can give. He traveled to the threshold of the Moon and helped all of us see something else: ourselves. He embodied the lessons and the purpose of exploration. We will miss him,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement.SEE THE OBJECTS HUMANS LEFT BEHIND ON THE MOONAstronauts Frank Borman and James Lovell accompanied Anders during what was the first crewed mission to reach the far side of the Moon and orbit Earth’s only natural satellite.The crew orbited the Moon ten times without making a lunar landing, and during one of the rotations, Anders took the magnificent photo of what is called “Earthrise.””As the spacecraft was in the process of rotating, Anders took this iconic picture showing Earth rising over the Moon’s horizon. In 2018, the International Astronomical Union commemorated the event by naming a 25-mile diameter crater “Anders’ Earthrise,” NASA previously stated.Lovell is the only surviving member of the original Apollo 8 crew.NASA’S ORION SPACECRAFT BREAKS APOLLO DISTANCE RECORD FROM EARTH WHILE ORBITING THE MOONThe remnants of Anders’ plane are expected to be removed from the water and transferred to a facility where members of the National Transportation Safety Board will conduct an investigation.The weather did not appear to be a factor in the incident, as winds were less than 15 mph, and skies were mostly sunny.During Anders’ career in the United States Air Force and retirement, the pilot had amassed thousands of flying hours and was the founder of the Heritage Flight Museum in Burlington, Washington.The museum specializes in displaying vintage aircraft, much like the one Anders perished in on Friday.”Heritage Flight Museum is deeply saddened to confirm that one of our Founders, Bill Anders, was killed in an aircraft accident. The museum will be closed until further notice. Please respect our need to grieve the passing of a great father and great pilot,” the operators of the museum posted to Facebook after learning about the crash.

Written by: Badlands Classic Rock

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