William Anders

American astronaut and lunar explorer (1933–2024)

William Alison Anders (October 17, 1933 – June 7, 2024) was a United States Air Force officer, NASA astronaut, businessman, and engineer. He was a member of the Apollo 8 space mission. Anders, Frank Borman and Jim Lovell were the first astronauts to leave the orbit of the Earth and go to the Moon.

Bill Anders
Anders in 1964
William Alison Anders

(1933-10-17)October 17, 1933
DiedJune 7, 2024(2024-06-07) (aged 90)
Space career
NASA astronaut
RankMajor General, USAFR
Time in space
6d 3h
SelectionNASA Group 3 (1963)
MissionsApollo 8
Mission insignia
RetirementSeptember 1, 1969
United States Ambassador to Norway
In office
May 11, 1976 – June 18, 1977
Preceded byThomas Byrne
Succeeded byLouis A. Lerner

The crew took the first pictures taken of the earth from the Moon.[1][2]

The Anders crater on the Moon was named in his honor.

He was married to Valerie E. Hoard. He had six children, Alan, Glen, Gregory, Eric, Gayle and Daina.[3]

He was a fighter pilot and an air defence commander. He received a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering. He graduated from Naval Academy. In 1964, NASA selected him as an astronaut with important responsibilities.[3]

Anders was the U.S. Ambassador of Norway from 1976 until 1977.

Anders died on June 7, 2024, at the age of 90, when his plane crashed into Puget Sound between Jones Island and Orcas Island.[4][5][6][7]


  1. "Remarks by the President at the National Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting (2009)". Archived from the original on 2015-06-03. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
  2. International Space Hall of Fame Archived 2012-03-13 at the Wayback Machine - New Mexico Museum of Space History
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Astronaut Bio: William Anders". jsc.nasa.gov. 2001-05-23. Archived from the original on 2011-06-29. Retrieved 2023-04-22.
  4. Fox 13 News Staff (7 June 2024). "Video shows fiery small plane crash into WA waters near Orcas Island". FOX 13. Seattle. Archived from the original on 8 June 2024. Retrieved 8 June 2024.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  5. Lewis, Russell (7 July 2024). "NASA astronaut Bill Anders, who took famous photo of Earth during Apollo, dies at 90". NPR. Archived from the original on 8 June 2024. Retrieved 8 June 2024.
  6. Goldstein, Richard. "William A. Anders, Who Flew on First Manned Orbit of the Moon, Dies at 90". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 8 June 2024. Retrieved 8 June 2024.
  7. Price, Stepheny (7 June 2024). "Apollo 8 astronaut, William Anders, who took famous picture of Earth, killed in small plane crash". Fox News. Archived from the original on 8 June 2024. Retrieved 8 June 2024.