Portrait Of Astronaut William A. Anders

William A. Anders

Lunar Module Pilot

Astronaut William Anders was born October 17th, 1933, in British Hong Kong. He received a bachelor of science degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1955 and, later, a master of science degree in Nuclear Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1962.

Anders was commissioned in the air Force after graduation from the Naval Academy and served as a fighter pilot for the Air Defense Command. He was later responsible for technical management of nuclear power reactor shielding and radiation effects programs while at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory in New Mexico.

In 1964, Anders was selected by the NASA as an astronaut with responsibilities for dosimetry, radiation effects and environmental controls. He was backup pilot for the Gemini 11 and Apollo 11 flights, and was the lunar module pilot for Apollo 8. In 1968, Apollo 8 orbited the moon ten times over the course of 20 hours, during which the crew made a Christmas Eve television broadcast where they read from the Book of Genesis—at the time, the broadcast was the most watched TV program ever. Anders also took the famous Earthrise photo on Apollo 8, the first color shot of an earthrise from the lunar surface.