Washington Resident & Apollo Astronaut Was Once A Household Name
Bill Anders, a Washington resident and former NASA Apollo astronaut, was a household name in the late 1960s. He was born 90 years ago on this day - October 17th, 1933
He was one of three Apollo 8 crew members who read Genesis chapter 1 - to a national audience on Christmas Eve, 1968 while orbiting the Moon.
Who were the crew members of the Apollo 8?
Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders would become the first humans to leave Earth’s gravity and orbit around another heavenly object - The Moon.
As the Apollo 8 crew circled the moon 10 times, Bill Anders took one of the greatest pictures of the 20th Century - Earthrise
Apollo 8’s successful mission confirmed to NASA that we could transit to and from the moon and eventually put men on the moon's lunar surface - a half year later.
Post NASA - and into retirement
Bill Anders retired from his position as CEO/Chairman of General Dynamics in 1994. He became a resident of Washington and bought a house on the waterfront in the San Juan Islands. A 2007 article in Airport Journals, mentioned that Bill disliked the winter in the drizzly San Juans, “so he bought a second dwelling in California.”
In 1996, he founded Bellingham’s Heritage Flight Museum - originally in Bellingham, then relocated to Burlington, Washington, in 2014.
Since Bill Anders’ Military flight career, he has logged over 8,000 hours of flight time.
He is the last Apollo astronaut flying.
‘He flew two formation demonstrations in a Beech T-34 yesterday at Heritage Flight Museum with Greg Anders acting as flight lead. They looked great in the crystal clear Pacific Northwest sky.’ - Pat Fitzpatrick (via Facebook)
Happy 90th birthday to San Juan Islands resident, Bill Anders.
INFO: Heritage Flight Museum, Pat Fitzpatrick (via Facebook)
LOOK: 31 breathtaking images from NASA's public library
Gallery Credit: Deborah Brosseau