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Apollo 8 ‘Earthrise’ photographer calls Northwest home

This Dec. 24, 1968, file photo made available by NASA shows the Earth behind the surface of the moon during the Apollo 8 mission. (William Anders/NASA via AP, File)

It’s been 50 years since Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders took a photograph of a distant earth not quite looming over the lunar landscape, an image that’s since come to be known as “Earthrise.”

Anders, who now lives in Anacortes, has been featured in national and international media this week, marking the 50th anniversary of that famous mission and memorable photograph from December 1968.

Apollo 8, whose mission was to orbit and map the moon in advance of the Apollo 11 landing in July 1969, included astronauts Jim Lovell, Frank Borman, and Anders. The three men appeared in a live broadcast on Christmas Eve, and read Bible passages from Genesis.

Five years ago, Anders was a guest on the Tom & Curley Show a few days before Christmas 2013, talking about Apollo 8 on the 45th anniversary. John Curley and guest host Feliks Banel spoke with the former astronaut about what it was like being that far from home, and how it feels to have been the guy who pressed the button on what’s become one of the most famous photographs in human history.

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