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William Alison (Bill) Anders Status: Inactive. Trained as: Astronaut. Profession: Pilot. Sex: Male. Marital Status: Married. Children: Six. Birth Date: 17 October 1933. Birth City: Hong Kong. Birth Country: China. Nationality: American. Group: 1963 NASA Group. Date Selected: 17 October 1963. Departed: 1969. Number of Flights: 1. Total Time: 6.13 days.

NAME: William A. Anders

BIRTHPLACE AND DATE: Anders was born October 17, 1933, in Hong Kong.

EDUCATION: Anders received a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1955. While in the Air Force he obtained a Master of Science degree in nuclear engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology

EXPERIENCE: After graduation Anders was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force and served as a fighter pilot in all-weather interception squadrons of the Air Defence Command. After receiving his Master of Science degree he was assigned responsibility for technical management of nuclear power reactor shielding and radiation effects programs at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory.

NASA selected Anders as an astronaut in 1964. After Mike Collins had to leave the crew due to an illness, Anders received his first flight assignment on the Apollo 8 crew, together with Commander Frank Borman and Jim Lovell. A last minute decision was made to send Apollo 8, only the second manned Apollo flight, into lunar orbit in order to beat the Russians. On December 21, 1968, the Apollo 8 crew became the first humans to reach escape velocity as their Saturn V put them on a trans-lunar trajectory. Early on Christmas Eve, the Apollo 8 command-service module braked into lunar orbit. In an unforgettable Christmas message to the world, Borman, Lovell and Anders read the story of creation from the first ten verses of the Bible's Book of Genesis, while sending a vivid televised image of the stark lunar surface rolling by below. On Christmas Day, Apollo 8ís engines pushed the crew out of lunar orbit and back toward Earth to a landing in the Pacific Ocean.

Anders left NASA after the mission and served as executive secretary of the National Aeronautics and Space Council from 1969 to 1973. In 1973 he was appointed to the Atomic Energy Commission. Following reorganisation of national nuclear regulatory and development activities in 1975, Anders was named by President Ford to become the first Chairman of the new Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Ford later named him U.S. ambassador to Norway.

Anders left the federal government after 26 years of service in 1977 and assumed a series of management positions with the General Electric Company. Later he worked as Senior Executive Vice President-Operations, Textron, Inc. Anders retired as Chief Executive Officer of General Dynamics in 1993, but remained Chairman of the Board. He finally retired from General Dynamics in 1996. Anders then became President and Director of The Anders Foundation, a philanthropic organisation. He held the rank of major general in the Air Force Reserve.

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Last update 3 May 2001.
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