SEATTLE (NEWSnet/AP) — William Anders, Apollo 8 astronaut who shot the iconic “Earthrise” photograph showing the planet as a blue marble from space, was killed Friday in a plane crash. He was 90. 

A report came around 11:40 a.m. that an older-model plane crashed into the water and sank near the north end of Jones Island, San Juan County Sheriff Eric Peter said. Greg Anders confirmed to KING-TV that his father’s body was recovered Friday afternoon.

The photograph, the first color image of Earth from space, is one of the most important in modern history for the way it changed how humans view our planet. The snapshot is credited with sparking the global environmental movement for showing how delicate and isolated Earth appears from space.

NASA Administrator and former Sen. Bill Nelson said Anders embodied the lessons and the purpose of exploration.

“He traveled to the threshold of the moon and helped all of us see something else: ourselves,” Nelson wrote on X.

Anders snapped the photo during the crew’s fourth orbit of the moon, frantically switching from black-and-white to color film.

“Oh my God, look at that picture over there!” Anders said. “There’s the Earth coming up. Wow, is that pretty!”

The mission, in December 1968, was the first human space flight to leave low-Earth orbit and travel to the moon and back.

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