- William Anders
name = William Alison Anders
type = Astronaut
date_birth = birth date and age|1933|10|17
Major General, USAF
selection = 1963 NASA Group
time = 6d 03h 00m
insignia = |
William Alison Anders (born
October 17, 1933) is a former United States Air Forceofficer and NASA astronaut. He is, along with Apollo 8crewmates Frank Bormanand Jim Lovell, the first person to have left Earth orbit and traveled to the Moon (of only 24 men to date).
Anders was born to Arthur Anders and Muriel Adams Anders in
Hong Kongand was active in the Boy Scouts of Americawhere he achieved its second highest rank, Life Scout. Anders attended St. Martin's Academy and Grossmont High Schoolin La Mesa, California. He was born and raised Roman Catholic.
He received a
Bachelor of Sciencedegree from the United States Naval Academyin 1955 and a master of science degree in nuclear engineeringfrom the Air Force Institute of Technologyat Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, in 1962. Anders completed the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Programin 1979.
After graduating from Annapolis, 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.
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, radiation effects, and environmental controls. He was the backup pilot for the " Gemini XI" mission; the lunar modulepilot for the " Apollo 8" mission, the first manned lunar orbit mission, in December 1968. Anders took a photograph of Earthrisethat has become one of the most celebrated of the US space program. He served as backup command module pilot for the " Apollo 11" 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.
From 1969 to 1973, he served as
executive secretaryfor 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.
August 6, 1973, Anders was appointed to the five-member Atomic Energy Commission, 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 and fusion power.
Following the reorganization of national nuclear regulatory and developmental activities on
19 January 1975, Anders was named by President Ford to become the first chairman of the newly established Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which is responsible for nuclear safetyand environmental compatibility. At the completion of his term as NRC Chairman, Anders was appointed ambassadorto Norwayand 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, then joined General Electricin September 1977. As vice president and general manager of GE's Nuclear Products Division in San Jose, California, he was responsible for the manufacture of nuclear fuel, reactor internal equipment, and control and instrumentation for GE boiling-water reactors at facilities located in San Jose and Wilmington, North Carolina. He also oversaw GE's partnership with Chicago Bridge and Ironfor making large steel pressure vessels in Memphis, 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, 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
Textronas executive vice presidentfor aerospace, and two years later became senior executive vice president for operations.
In 1990, Anders became
vice chairmanof General Dynamics, and on 1 January 1991, its chairmanand 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 Policyand was a member of the Defense Science Boardand the NASA Advisory Council. He is a retired major generalin the USAF Reserve.
; Anders serves as its president and is an active participant in its air shows.
The Anders crater on the
Moonwas named in his honor.
Anders was portrayed by
Robert John Burkein 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 ."
He has four sons and two daughters.
* [http://www.spacefacts.de/bios/astronauts/english/anders_william.htm Spacefacts biography of William Anders]
* [http://www.heritageflight.org Heritage Flight Museum]
* [http://www.acc.af.mil/library/biographies/bio.asp?id=10522 US Air Force biography of William Anders]
* [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/moon/ American Experience, Race to the Moon]
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