Published: Mon, May 28, 2018
Science | By

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

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

Alan Bean the fourth astronaut to walk on the moon before becoming a painter died Saturday at the age of 86 in Texas.

Said Bridenstine: "After logging 1,671 hours and 45 minutes in space, Alan passed the baton to the next generation of astronauts and changed fronts, looking to push the boundaries of his own imagination and ability as an artist".

Bean died at the Houston Methodist Hospital after becoming sick two weeks ago, according to a statement from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Many of Mr. Bean's fellow astronauts were evidently taken aback by his choosing the art world over private business. The four are Apollo 11's Buzz Aldrin, 88; Apollo 15's Dave Scott, 85; Apollo 16's Charlie Duke, 82; and Apollo 17's Harrison Schmitt, 82.

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. He was the fourth person to walk on the Moon, flying aboard Apollo 12, and proved crucial to humanity's understanding of its closest celestial neighbor. "I think everyone can do more than one thing with his life".

He flew twice into space, first on Apollo 12 as the lunar module pilot, which was the second moon landing mission. On that mission, he orbited the Earth for 59 days and traveled 24.4 million miles, setting a world record at the time.

Born March 15, 1932 in Wheeler, Texas the future moonwalker earned a degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Texas in 1955.

Alan Bean on the moon
Bean there done that. NASA

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

"I think of myself not as an astronaut who paints", he added, "but as an artist who was once an astronaut".

"It looked like fearless people did that". But I want it to be the most attractive black dirt that's ever been painted in the history of art. "I thought maybe I could learn to be, so that appealed to me".

His decision in 1981 to give up his NASA career to become a full-time artist surprised some of his colleagues. "He said he hoped to capture those experiences through his art". "Fair winds and following seas, Captain", Kelly tweeted.

"Retired astronaut Clayton Anderson tweeted "#RIP Alan Bean.

Leslie Bean, Alan Bean's wife of 40 years, said her husband was the strongest and kindest man she ever knew. "And for years, Alan and I never missed a month where we did not have a cheeseburger together at Miller's Café in Houston", Cunningham said.

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

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