Earthrise: Astronaut William Anders Dies in Plane Crash

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William Anders, the astronaut who captured the iconic Earthrise photo during the Apollo 8 mission, tragically died Friday. He was killed when the small plane he was piloting crashed into the water north of Seattle. 

According to NASA, local officials, and his family, the accident occurred between Orcas and Jones islands, about 80 miles north of Seattle.

The Coast Guard for the Pacific Northwest and the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office responded to the crash just before 1 p.m. local time. The sheriff’s office confirmed that only the pilot was aboard the two-seat plane. A body was recovered, and the pilot’s identification was retrieved, confirming Anders’ death.

His son, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Greg Anders, confirmed the news to The Associated Press, saying, “The family is devastated. He was a great pilot, and we will miss him terribly.”

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