Astronaut and moonwalker Alan Bean dies at 86

Cesar Mills
May 28, 2018

Apollo and Skylab astronaut Alan Bean, the fourth man to walk on the moon and an accomplished artist, died Saturday at a hospital in Houston, Texas. "I've got the Earth and my imagination, and I'm the first to have the moon, too". He sold his paintings on his website and had fetched as much as $175,000 for a single painting by then, although he had received limited attention from critics, The Times reported. "This indicates yet another artist working from a formula, which can make his efforts seem commercial and risk-averse".

FILE PHOTO: Retired Astronaut Alan Bean, 66, poses for a portrait in his spacesuit at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, U.S., in this undated photo. Celebrities and notable figures who have recently passed awayBean was one of 14 trainees selected by NASA for its third group of astronauts in October 1963.

Born March 15, 1932 in Wheeler, Texas the future moonwalker earned a degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Texas in 1955. He spent 31 hours on the moon during two moonwalks, deploying surface experiments with commander Charles Conrad and collecting 75 pounds (34 kilograms) of rocks and lunar soil for study back on Earth, according to a statement from NASA and Bean's family that announced his death.

In 1998 NASA oral history, Bean recalled his excitement at preparing to fly to the moon.

Conrad died in a motorcycle accident in 1999; Gordon died in 2017. During the then-record-setting 59-day, 24.4 million-mile flight, Bean and his two crewmates generated 18 miles of computer tape during surveys of Earth's resources and 76,000 photographs of the Sun to help scientists better understand its affects on the solar system.

He retired in 1981, beginning a career as a painter, creating Apollo-themed art.

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

He leaves his second wife, Leslie, a son, Clay, and a daughter, Amy Sue, from his marriage to his first wife, Sue. One of his favorite tricks was to sprinkle a little moondust from his lunar patches onto his canvases as he painted.

"You know, people romanticize the moon", Mr. Bean wrote in his book.

"I wanted to be courageous, even though I wasn't fearless at the time".

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

Other reports by GizPress

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