The NASA Connection
HFM was founded in 1996 by the William Anders family. If that name rings a bell, think back to 1968 when Apollo 8 made the first manned flight around the moon… one of those three astronauts was William A. Anders.
Maj.Gen. Anders’ history with NASA is quite extensive. In late 1963, Anders was among just 14 men chosen by NASA from a pool of thousands of applicants for the astronaut corps. After helicopter training and then serving as backup copilot for the Gemini 11 mission, he was one of the first astronauts to fly the Lunar Landing Training Vehicle. He was Lunar Module Pilot on the December, 1968 Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission, the first manned flight on the giant Saturn V rocket and mankind’s first flight away from the earth to another body in the solar system. During that Christmastime mission, the Apollo 8 crew drew the attention of those on earth by reading the first several verses from the Book of Genesis in a special Christmas Eve broadcast transmitted live from over 240,000 miles in space. It was while in lunar orbit that Anders, deviating from the scheduled flight plan, captured the famous “Earthrise” photograph which has been selected for the December 1999 covers of Time , Life , and American Photography editions honoring the most significant images of the twentieth century.
After Apollo 8’s successful return, Anders was named as backup Command Module Pilot for Apollo 11, the first lunar landing mission. He was then appointed by the President to be the Executive Secretary of the Aeronautics & Space Council, a cabinet-level group chaired by the Vice President, where Anders worked to increase national support for aeronautics R & D and help lay out plans for the post-Apollo space programs.
Programs, aircraft and other vehicles Bill was involved with during his years with NASA include:
The USAF Connection
Both HFM’s Founder and Executive Director had long and distinguished careers in the US Air Force, spanning from the start of the Cold War through more recent conflicts. It is their strong connection to the Air Force that guides the Museum’s focus.
USAF aircraft, flown by Bill and Greg include: