Famed Astronaut Alan Bean Dies at 86

Famed Astronaut Alan Bean Dies at 86

"Alan Bean is one of the great renaissance men of his generation - engineer, fighter pilot, astronaut and artist". "He was the love of my life, and I miss him dearly", Leslie Bean, his wife of 40 years, said in a statement released by NASA and the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. "A native Texan, Alan died peacefully in Houston surrounded by those who loved him".

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.

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.

Mr. Bean commanded the second of three flights to the Skylab orbiting laboratory, working with Jack R. Lousma of the Marine Corps and Owen K. Garriott, a scientist-astronaut, on a mission that studied the Earth's makeup and the sun's atmosphere. He and crew mate Pete Conrad explored the moon's surface and conducted experiments while Richard Gordon orbited overhead in the command module, scouting landing sites for future moon missions.

Bean was the lunar module pilot of Apollo 12, which made the second moon landing, in 1969. For more than four decades after his space career, he chronicled the six missions that landed on the moon.

Bean retired from the Navy in 1975 and NASA in 1981.

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"Sad day. Not only did we lose a spaceflight pioneer, 4th man to walk on the moon, but also an exceptional artist that brought his experience back to Earth to share with the world".

Alan Bean, the fourth human to walk on the moon, has died.

"A lot of things I think about come from the right side of my brain", he said in 2007. "I thought maybe I could learn to be, so that appealed to me".

Born on March 15, 1932, in Wheeler, Texas, Bean received a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Texas in 1955. "Bean was spacecraft commander of Skylab Mission II & devoted his retirement to painting", NASA wrote on social media Saturday. And it got me in trouble at NASA at first.

He is survived by his wife, a sister and two children from a prior marriage, a daughter Amy Sue and son, Clay. But I want it to be the most attractive black dirt that's ever been painted in the history of art.

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