Alan Bean, moon-walking astronaut turned painter, dies in Houston

Alan Bean, moon-walking astronaut turned painter, dies in Houston

Leaving his footprints on a region called the Ocean of Storms, Bean in November 1969 became the fourth man to walk on the moon as one of the astronauts on the second of NASA's lunar landing missions, Apollo 12.

NASA tweeted saying Bean was Spacecraft Commander of Skylab Mission II who retired from NASA in 1981 and devoted his retirement to painting. She added he died "peacefully. surrounded by those who loved him".

Bean's paintings depict the moon, astronauts, modules and other elements of America's missions into space. "He was the love of my life and I miss him dearly", said Leslie Bean, Alan Bean's wife of 40 years.

Bean served as a test pilot in the U.S. Navy, and was among 14 trainees who were selected by NASA in 1963 for its third group of astronauts - after the Mercury Seven and the New Nine.

But he gave it up because "the more I thought about it, the more I realized there were young men and women at NASA in the astronaut office that could fly the shuttle as good as I could or better, but I was the only one interested in trying to do this other job".

Sergio Ramos Tempts Fate by Dismissing Mohamed Salah Comparisons With Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo can join an elite group of just 10 other players to win five European Cups should Madrid win in Kiev. Liverpool and Real Madrid are the tournaments two top scoring teams with 40 and 30 goals respectively.

"I'd always wanted to be a pilot, ever since I could remember", Bean said in the 1998 NASA oral history.

"I think I would like to be remembered in the end as an astronaut and an artist", Bean told People. "We're really here. That's the Earth up there.' And I said it two or three times to myself". Bean and crew member Pete Conrad explored the moon's surface and conducted experiments while Richard Gordon orbited overhead in the command module, looking for prospective landing positions for future moon missions. His paintings, inspired by space travel, featured lunar boot prints as well as small pieces of his mission patches which were stained by Moon dust. "He was a one of a kind combination of technical achievement as an astronaut and artistic achievement as a painter".

He is survived by his wife, a sister and two children from a prior marriage, a daughter Amy Sue and son, Clay.

US astronaut Karen Nyberg called Bean a kind, gracious and humble man and a true role model.

Mr. Bean returned to space in July 1973, when he commanded a three-man flight to the orbiting space research station Skylab, the forerunner of the International Space Station. And for years, Alan and I never missed a month where we did not have a cheeseburger together at Miller's Café in Houston.

Related Articles