William Anders

William Alison "Bill" Anders ( born October 17, 1933, Hong Kong ) is a retired American Air Force officer and astronaut.

Start of career

Born in Hong Kong, because his father was stationed as a pilot in the U.S. Navy there, Anders grew up in California. In 1951 he graduated from the East Jackson High School. He then studied at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis ( Maryland), 1955 awarded him a bachelor. He joined the U.S. Air Force and served as an interceptor in an all-weather squadron. He gained another university degree in 1962 with a master as nuclear technicians from the Air Force Institute of Technology, which is housed at Wright - Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

In a weapons laboratory in New Mexico, the Air Force was working on other technical possibilities for shielding nuclear reactors.

The change to the NASA

Anders, now a captain in the Air Force, applied at NASA and was presented on October 17, 1963, his 30th birthday, as one of 14 astronauts of the third selection group of the public.

The training began in February 1964. Specialty as him in 1965 dosimetry, radiation effects and life support systems has been assigned. He was one of the first astronauts who flew with the landing should be practiced on the moon, the Lunar Landing Training Vehicle ( LLTV ).


His first assignment to a team got Anders on March 19, 1966, when he was nominated as a replacement pilot for the Gemini 11 mission in September 1966. In the mission Gemini 12 in November 1966, he served as a liaison speaker ( Capcom ).


When the first Apollo teams were assembled, Anders Mission E has been assigned. Unlike the Lunar Module should have test in a high Earth orbit as lunar module pilot. Because the development of the lunar module had delayed the mission E was deleted. The team, which also included Commander Frank Borman and pilot Jim Lovell Apollo, led by the now -called Apollo 8 mission, which was inserted between the C and D missions. The first flight of the lunar module had to be postponed on Apollo 9, so that Anders could not apply his training. Anders started on December 21, 1968 his only spaceflight. It was the first manned launch of the Saturn V rocket and the first manned space flight to another celestial body.

On December 24, Anders took one of the most famous photos in history, the rising of the Earth above the lunar horizon ( " Earthrise "). In the evening there was a live broadcast of the Apollo command module in lunar orbit, with Borman, Lovell and Anders were reading the creation story from the Bible. An extract of which used the British musician Mike Oldfield to the opening of his album The Songs Of Distant Earth. Unlike yourself, originally Catholic, but has lost any reference to religion as a result of his experience in space.

After returning Unlike the backup crew of Apollo 11 was assigned, where he was assigned as a reserve for the Apollo - pilot Michael Collins. During this mission, he again worked as a speaker connection ( Capcom ) in the control center in Houston.

According to the NASA

Unlike NASA left on August 1, 1969. Too, from the Air Force he retired with the rank of major general. In June 1969, he was appointed by President Nixon as an advisory body that would develop draft decisions for research, development, planning and execution of air and space systems.

On August 6, 1973 Anders was appointed to a five-member Atomic Energy Commission, where he was responsible for nuclear and non-nuclear energy. In parallel, he was an American chairman of a Russian-American program for nuclear technology transfer.

As part of a reorganization of the Atomic Energy Commission was dissolved in 1975 and replaced by the regulatory authority for nuclear technology, which was now responsible for nuclear safety and environmental compatibility. Anders became the first chairman of this new authority.

In 1976 Anders took office as U.S. Ambassador to Norway.

After 26 years in government services Anders went in September 1977 in the industry and accepted a post as head of Nuclear Products at General Electric Company in San Jose, California. At the beginning of 1980 he moved into the aviation sector of the company to Utica, New York.

Anders left General Electric in 1984 and went to Textron, where he headed the air and space field. In 1990, he joined General Dynamics until 1994 he sat down to rest.

William Anders is married and has four sons and two daughters.


In 1968, he was with his comrades of Apollo 8 Man of the Year in Time Magazine.