William Anders

William Anders

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William Alison Anders (born October 17, 1933) is a former United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 officer, NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 astronaut
Astronaut
An astronaut or cosmonaut is a person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft....

, businessman, and engineer. He is, along with Apollo 8
Apollo 8
Apollo 8, the second manned mission in the American Apollo space program, was the first human spaceflight to leave Earth orbit; the first to be captured by and escape from the gravitational field of another celestial body; and the first crewed voyage to return to Earth from another celestial...

 crewmates Frank Borman
Frank Borman
Frank Frederick Borman, II is a retired NASA astronaut and engineer, best remembered as the Commander of Apollo 8, the first mission to fly around the Moon, making him, along with fellow crew mates Jim Lovell and Bill Anders, the first of only 24 humans to do so...

 and Jim Lovell
Jim Lovell
James "Jim" Arthur Lovell, Jr., is a former NASA astronaut and a retired captain in the United States Navy, most famous as the commander of the Apollo 13 mission, which suffered a critical failure en route to the Moon but was brought back safely to Earth by the efforts of the crew and mission...

, one of the first three persons to have left Earth orbit and traveled to the Moon (of only 24 people to date).

Biography


Anders was born to Arthur Anders and Muriel Adams Anders in Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 and was active in the Boy Scouts of America
Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with over 4.5 million youth members in its age-related divisions...

 where he achieved its second highest rank, Life Scout. Anders attended St. Martin's Academy and Grossmont High School
Grossmont High School
Grossmont High School is the oldest high school in San Diego's east county, California. Its mascot is the Foothiller, so chosen because, at the time of the school’s construction, east county was much more isolated from the rest of San Diego than it is today and was often referred to as the...

 in La Mesa
La Mesa, California
La Mesa is a city in San Diego County, California. The population was 57,065 at the 2010 census, up from 54,749 at the 2000 census. It was founded in 1869 and officially incorporated as a city on February 16, 1912. Its official flower is the bougainvillea....

, California. He was born and raised Roman Catholic. However according to one article his outlook on religion changed profoundly after his participation in the Apollo 8 mission. He found his experience of space made a mockery of his beliefs and he gave up religion.

Academic career


He received a Bachelor of Science
Bachelor of Science
A Bachelor of Science is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for completed courses that generally last three to five years .-Australia:In Australia, the BSc is a 3 year degree, offered from 1st year on...

 degree from the United States Naval Academy
United States Naval Academy
The United States Naval Academy is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located in Annapolis, Maryland, United States...

 in 1955 and a Master of Science
Master of Science
A Master of Science is a postgraduate academic master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. The degree is typically studied for in the sciences including the social sciences.-Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay:...

 degree in nuclear engineering
Nuclear engineering
Nuclear engineering is the branch of engineering concerned with the application of the breakdown as well as the fusion of atomic nuclei and/or the application of other sub-atomic physics, based on the principles of nuclear physics...

 from the Air Force Institute of Technology
Air Force Institute of Technology
The Air Force Institute of Technology is a graduate school and provider of professional and continuing education that is part of the United States Air Force. It is located on Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. A component of Air University and Air Education and Training Command, AFIT has been...

 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base in Greene and Montgomery counties in the state of Ohio. It includes both Wright and Patterson Fields, which were originally Wilbur Wright Field and Fairfield Aviation General Supply Depot. Patterson Field is located approximately...

, Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

, in 1962. Anders completed the Harvard Business School
Harvard Business School
Harvard Business School is the graduate business school of Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts, United States and is widely recognized as one of the top business schools in the world. The school offers the world's largest full-time MBA program, doctoral programs, and many executive...

 Advanced Management Program
Harvard Business School
Harvard Business School is the graduate business school of Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts, United States and is widely recognized as one of the top business schools in the world. The school offers the world's largest full-time MBA program, doctoral programs, and many executive...

 in 1979.

USAF experience


After graduating from the Naval Academy, Anders took his commission in the U.S. Air Force and served as a fighter pilot in all-weather interceptor squadrons of the Air Defense Command. He later was responsible for technical management of nuclear power reactor shielding and radiation effects programs while at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory in New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

.

NASA experience



In 1963, Anders was selected by NASA in the third group of astronauts. He became involved in the NASA work in the areas of dosimetry
Dosimetry
Radiation dosimetry is the measurement and calculation of the absorbed dose in matter and tissue resulting from the exposure to indirect and direct ionizing radiation...

, radiation effects, and environmental controls. He was the backup pilot for the Gemini XI mission; the lunar module pilot for the Apollo 8
Apollo 8
Apollo 8, the second manned mission in the American Apollo space program, was the first human spaceflight to leave Earth orbit; the first to be captured by and escape from the gravitational field of another celestial body; and the first crewed voyage to return to Earth from another celestial...

mission, the first manned lunar orbit mission, in December 1968. Anders took a celebrated photograph of Earthrise
Earthrise
Earthrise is a famous photograph taken on the 1968 Apollo 8 space mission.Earthrise may also refer to:* Earthrise , a computer game by Interstel...

. He served as backup command module pilot for the Apollo 11
Apollo 11
In early 1969, Bill Anders accepted a job with the National Space Council effective in August 1969 and announced his retirement as an astronaut. At that point Ken Mattingly was moved from the support crew into parallel training with Anders as backup Command Module Pilot in case Apollo 11 was...

mission, before accepting an assignment with the National Aeronautics and Space Council, while still remaining an astronaut.

He has logged more than 6,000 hours of flight time.

His famous quote "We came all this way to explore the moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth" and the first pictures taken of the earth from the moon, inspired environmentalists everywhere.

Post-NASA experience


From 1969 to 1973, Anders served as executive secretary for the National Aeronautics and Space Council, which was responsible to the president, vice president and Cabinet-level members of the Council for developing policy options concerning research, development, operations and planning of aeronautical and space systems. He was also a consultant to the Times-Mirror Organisation in Los Angeles, during which he visited one of T-M's several publishing companies, Jeppesen & Co., in Frankfurt, Germany.

On August 6, 1973, Anders was appointed to the five-member Atomic Energy Commission
United States Atomic Energy Commission
The United States Atomic Energy Commission was an agency of the United States government established after World War II by Congress to foster and control the peace time development of atomic science and technology. President Harry S...

, where he was lead commissioner for nuclear and non-nuclear power R&D. He was also named as US chairman of the joint US/USSR technology exchange program for fission
Nuclear fission
In nuclear physics and nuclear chemistry, nuclear fission is a nuclear reaction in which the nucleus of an atom splits into smaller parts , often producing free neutrons and photons , and releasing a tremendous amount of energy...

 and fusion
Nuclear fusion
Nuclear fusion is the process by which two or more atomic nuclei join together, or "fuse", to form a single heavier nucleus. This is usually accompanied by the release or absorption of large quantities of energy...

 power.

Following the reorganization of national nuclear regulatory and developmental activities on January 19, 1975, Anders was named by President Ford to become the first chairman of the newly established Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is an independent agency of the United States government that was established by the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 from the United States Atomic Energy Commission, and was first opened January 19, 1975...

, which is responsible for nuclear safety
Nuclear safety
Nuclear safety covers the actions taken to prevent nuclear and radiation accidents or to limit their consequences. This covers nuclear power plants as well as all other nuclear facilities, the transportation of nuclear materials, and the use and storage of nuclear materials for medical, power,...

 and environmental compatibility. At the completion of his term as NRC Chairman, Anders was appointed ambassador
Ambassador
An ambassador is the highest ranking diplomat who represents a nation and is usually accredited to a foreign sovereign or government, or to an international organization....

 to Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 and held that position until 1977, when he left the federal government after 26 years.

Anders briefly served as a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute
American Enterprise Institute
The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research is a conservative think tank founded in 1943. Its stated mission is "to defend the principles and improve the institutions of American freedom and democratic capitalism—limited government, private enterprise, individual liberty and...

, then joined General Electric
General Electric
General Electric Company , or GE, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in Schenectady, New York and headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, United States...

 in September 1977. As vice president and general manager of GE's Nuclear Products Division in San Jose
San Jose, California
San Jose is the third-largest city in California, the tenth-largest in the U.S., and the county seat of Santa Clara County which is located at the southern end of San Francisco Bay...

, California, he was responsible for the manufacture of nuclear fuel, reactor internal equipment, and control and instrumentation for GE boiling-water reactors
Nuclear reactor
A nuclear reactor is a device to initiate and control a sustained nuclear chain reaction. Most commonly they are used for generating electricity and for the propulsion of ships. Usually heat from nuclear fission is passed to a working fluid , which runs through turbines that power either ship's...

 at facilities located in San Jose and Wilmington
Wilmington, North Carolina
Wilmington is a port city in and is the county seat of New Hanover County, North Carolina, United States. The population is 106,476 according to the 2010 Census, making it the eighth most populous city in the state of North Carolina...

, North Carolina. He also oversaw GE's partnership with Chicago Bridge and Iron for making large steel pressure vessels in Memphis
Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers....

, Tennessee. In August 1979, Anders was sent to attend Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program. On the first day of 1980, Anders was appointed general manager of the General Electric Aircraft Equipment Division. Headquartered in Utica
Utica, New York
Utica is a city in and the county seat of Oneida County, New York, United States. The population was 62,235 at the 2010 census, an increase of 2.6% from the 2000 census....

, New York, the division included more than 8,500 employees in five locations in the northeastern U.S. Its products included aircraft flight and weapon control systems, cockpit instruments, aircraft electrical generating systems, airborne radars and data processing systems, electronic countermeasures, space command systems, and aircraft/surface multi-barrel armament systems.

In 1984, he left GE to join Textron
Textron
Textron is a conglomerate that includes Bell Helicopter, E-Z-GO, Cessna Aircraft Company, and Greenlee, among others. It was founded by Royal Little in 1923 as the Special Yarns Company, and is headquartered at the Textron Tower in Providence, Rhode Island, United States.With total revenues of...

 as executive vice president for aerospace, and two years later became senior executive vice president for operations.

In 1990, Anders became vice chairman of General Dynamics
General Dynamics
General Dynamics Corporation is a U.S. defense conglomerate formed by mergers and divestitures, and as of 2008 it is the fifth largest defense contractor in the world. Its headquarters are in West Falls Church , unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia, in the Falls Church area.The company has...

, and on January 1, 1991, its chairman and CEO. He retired in 1993 but remained chairman until May 1994.

He was also a consultant to the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy and was a member of the Defense Science Board
Defense Science Board
The Defense Science Board is a committee of civilian experts appointed to advise the U.S. Department of Defense on scientific and technical matters...

 and the NASA Advisory Council. He is a retired major general
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

 in the USAF Reserve.

He established the William A. Anders Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to supporting educational and environmental issues. The foundation was a primary sponsor of the American Experience
American Experience
American Experience is a television program airing on the Public Broadcasting Service Public television stations in the United States. The program airs documentaries, many of which have won awards, about important or interesting events and people in American history...

 episode, "Race to the Moon." The foundation also founded the Heritage Flight Museum
Heritage Flight Museum
The Heritage Flight Museum is a non-profit organization founded by the family of Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders in 1996 at the Bellingham International Airport in Bellingham, Washington...

 in 1996 at Bellingham International Airport (BLI) in Bellingham, WA; Anders serves as its president and until 2008 was an active participant in its air shows.

The Anders crater
Anders (crater)
Anders is a worn lunar impact crater that is located in the southern hemisphere on the far side of the Moon. It lies just to the southeast of the outer rim of the huge walled basin named Apollo. To the south-southeast is the crater Leavitt....

 on the Moon
Moon
The Moon is Earth's only known natural satellite,There are a number of near-Earth asteroids including 3753 Cruithne that are co-orbital with Earth: their orbits bring them close to Earth for periods of time but then alter in the long term . These are quasi-satellites and not true moons. For more...

 is named in his honor.

Anders was portrayed by Robert John Burke in the 1998 miniseries From the Earth to the Moon.

A family-approved account of Anders' life and career appears in the 2007 book In the Shadow of the Moon
In the Shadow of the Moon (book)
In the Shadow of the Moon: A Challenging Journey to Tranquility is a 2007 non-fiction book by space historians Francis French and Colin Burgess...

.


On November 13, 2008, Anders and fellow Apollo 8
Apollo 8
Apollo 8, the second manned mission in the American Apollo space program, was the first human spaceflight to leave Earth orbit; the first to be captured by and escape from the gravitational field of another celestial body; and the first crewed voyage to return to Earth from another celestial...

 crew members Frank Borman
Frank Borman
Frank Frederick Borman, II is a retired NASA astronaut and engineer, best remembered as the Commander of Apollo 8, the first mission to fly around the Moon, making him, along with fellow crew mates Jim Lovell and Bill Anders, the first of only 24 humans to do so...

 and Jim Lovell
Jim Lovell
James "Jim" Arthur Lovell, Jr., is a former NASA astronaut and a retired captain in the United States Navy, most famous as the commander of the Apollo 13 mission, which suffered a critical failure en route to the Moon but was brought back safely to Earth by the efforts of the crew and mission...

 appeared on the NASA TV channel to discuss the Apollo 8 mission.

Anders has been married to the former Valerie Hoard since 1955. The couple have four sons and two daughters. They live in Washington state.

On June 27, 2009 Anders was a guest of the first World Moon Bounce Day. His interview was bounced off the moon by radio signals and back to earth as part of the activities. The first World Moon Bounce Day was timed to precede the Apollo 11 fortieth anniversary. Anders had been an Apollo 8 astronaut and part of the backup crew for Apollo 11.

In popular culture


A recording of Bill Anders, made during the Apollo 8 lunar orbit, on December 24, 1968, reading from the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 (Genesis, Chapter 1) is included on the first track ("In The Beginning") of the Mike Oldfield
Mike Oldfield
Michael Gordon Oldfield is an English multi-instrumentalist musician and composer, working a style that blends progressive rock, folk, ethnic or world music, classical music, electronic music, New Age, and more recently, dance. His music is often elaborate and complex in nature...

 album The Songs of Distant Earth
The Songs of Distant Earth (album)
The Songs of Distant Earth is the 16th album by Mike Oldfield, released in 1994. It is based on Arthur C. Clarke's science fiction novel The Songs of Distant Earth.- Release details :...

, with verses repeated again in the second track ("Let There Be Light
Let There Be Light (song)
"Let There Be Light" is a single by musician Mike Oldfield, released in 1995. It is from the album The Songs of Distant Earth and uses audio from the Apollo 8 space mission.- Music video :...

").

External links