Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Alan Bean (1932 - 2018), Apollo astronaut walked on the Moon

Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean Fourth US Astronaut to Walk on Moon Has Died – NASA
Doris Mccormick | 27 May, 2018, 09:59

"Alan was the strongest and kindest man I ever knew", she said. Bean also commanded the second crewed flight to Skylab, America's first space station, in 1973. On Nov. 19, 1969, Bean became the fourth human to walk on the moon.

Walt Cunningham, fellow astronaut who flew on Apollo 7, said the two have remained friends for 55 years.

Alan Bean, the fourth man to walk on the moon and one of only 12 to have set foot there, died at 86 on Saturday, according to a statement on NASA's website.

"Alan Bean once said 'I have the nicest life in the world, '" National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement. I am so grateful he was my mentor and friend, and I will miss him terribly.

After Apollo 12, Bean commanded Skylab's second crew on a record-setting 59 day, 24.4 million flight, generating 76,000 images of the Sun to help scientists understand its effects on the solar system.

Bean left the Navy in 1975, but did not leave NASA until 1981. Eventually, Bean and Conrad spent more than 31 hours on the moon's surface, including more than seven hours working outside of the lunar module.

American astronaut and moonwalker-turned-painter Alan Bean has died.

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"I would say I had zero philosophical thoughts at that time", Bean told NPR of his time on the moon in 2014.

Bean was born in Wheeler, Texas, in 1932 and educated at the University of Texas - graduating in 1955. "I've got the Earth and my imagination, and I'm the first to have the moon, too".

Bean spent 31 hours on the moon, collecting samples and deploying several experiments with mission commander Charles "Pete" Conrad Jr.

Bean is survived by his wife, sister and two children from a prior marriage.

Alan Bean's "Reaching for the Stars" graces the wall of the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. The paintings sometimes included footprints from a molding of the boots he wore on the moon along with pieces of his spacesuit patches and a sprinkling of their moondust residue.

"A lot of things I think about come from the right side of my brain", he said in 2007.

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