The Apollo 8 astronaut who took the photo of the Earth’s departure dies

Anders, 90, died when the small plane he was piloting, a Beech A45, crashed. He ended up in waters off the San Juan Islands in Washington state, off the northeast coast of the United States. There were no other occupants.

Anders himself has said several times that the ‘Earthrise’ photograph was his most important contribution to space travel, given the philosophical impact it had. It was the first color image of Earth from space and changed the way people viewed Earth. The photo is also said to spark the global environmental movement because it showed how vulnerable and isolated the Earth looks from space.

The three crew members of the Apollo 8 space mission were the first people to leave low Earth orbit and travel to the Moon. They haven’t set foot on the moon yet. The Apollo 11 crew had that privilege in July 1969, more than a year later.

William Anders said in an interview with NASA in 1997 that he did not believe the 1968 Apollo 8 mission was without risk, but that there were important national, patriotic and exploration reasons for continuing. He estimated there was a one in three chance that the crew would not survive the mission. He suspected that Christopher Columbus had once sailed with worse chances of survival.

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