Apollo Moonwalker and artist Alan Bean dies at 86

Alan Bean the 4th person to walk on the moon dies at 86

Alan Bean the 4th person to walk on the moon dies at 86

Bean, who was an Apollo 12 astronaut, was one of 12 men to walk on the moon, and his death comes only four months after fellow moon-walker John Young died.

His family said in a statement that Bean, who was the fourth person to walk on the moon, died in Houston on Saturday, two weeks after falling ill while traveling.

In 1973, Bean was spacecraft commander of the second manned mission to Skylab, the first USA space station.

His decision in 1981 to give up his NASA career to become a full-time artist surprised some of his colleagues.

"Alan Bean once said 'I have the nicest life in the world.' It's a comforting sentiment to recall as we mourn his passing", NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a press release.

He trained as a Navy test pilot under Conrad, who years later during their astronaut time played a crucial role in getting Bean designated for the Apollo mission.

Twelve astronauts ultimately walked on the moon in six Apollo missions.

Bean was born in 1932, in Wheeler, Texas, and received a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Texas in 1955.


"In total, Bean logged 69 days, 15 hours and 45 minutes in space", the obituary said, "including 31 hours and 31 minutes on the moon's surface".

"I would say I had zero philosophical thoughts at that time", Bean told NPR of his time on the moon in 2014. But I want it to be the most attractive black dirt that's ever been painted in the history of art.

In later life he became an accomplished artist, producing paintings that were inspired by space.

He obtained a commission in Navy aviation and after completing test-pilot school was selected by NASA as one of 14 new astronauts in October 1963.

"I think a lot of it just had to do with it looked exciting". "He was a one of a kind combination of technical achievement as an astronaut and artistic achievement as a painter".

Retired astronaut Scott Kelly said on Twitter that the world had not only lost "a spaceflight pioneer. but also an exceptional artist that brought his experience back to Earth to share with the world". Mr. Bean and Conrad made a pinpoint landing on terrain called the Ocean of Storms, having descended in their lunar module from the capsule being flown in orbit by a third astronaut, Richard Gordon. "I feel fortunate to have met him".

He leaves his second wife, Leslie, a son, Clay, and a daughter, Amy Sue, from his marriage to his first wife, Sue.

His wife of 40 years, Leslie Bean, said in the statement he died peacefully surrounded by those who loved him. I am so grateful he was my mentor and friend, and I will miss him terribly.

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