Apollo Moonwalker Alan Bean dies at 86 after illness

Ismael LynchMay 27, 2018

Bean, who passed away at Houston Methodist after battling a short illness, was a lunar module pilot on Apollo 12 in 1969, the second manned flight to land on the moon.

They included a re-creation of Armstrong securing an American flag in the lunar dust; Mr. Bean standing with Conrad on the moon, looking toward Earth; Eugene A. Cernan riding in a lunar rover during the Apollo 17 mission, and the Earth rising above the moon.

Mr Bean, the fourth person to walk on the moon, died in Houston two weeks after falling ill, his family said.

He went into space twice, the first time in November 1969 as the lunar module pilot on the Apollo 12 moon-landing mission.

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

In a statement, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine described Mr Bean as a "boundary pusher".

Four years after Apollo 12, Bean commanded the second crew to live and work on board the Skylab orbital workshop.

Bean's paintings depict the moon, astronauts, modules and other elements of America's missions into space. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Texas in 1955.

Bean spent a total of 69 days in space, including 31 hours on the moon.

Alan Bean, pictured in 2007, walked on the moon and later became an artist who created Apollo-themed paintings. "But I've been there and I can tell you it's mostly black dirt".

A decade later, Bean told me that his brain must have been wired differently from the norm for astronauts.

He said he thought about it often, "and when I look at the moon at night, [I] think about that pin up there, just as shiny as it ever was, and someday maybe somebody will go pick it up". "He was a great man and this is a great loss", said astronaut Mike Massimino, who flew on two space shuttle missions to service the Hubble Space Telescope.

Fellow astronaut Harrison Schmitt called Bean "one of the great renaissance men of his generation - engineer, fighter pilot, astronaut and artist".

Retired astronaut Scott Kelly said on Twitter that the world had not only lost "a spaceflight pioneer. but also an exceptional artist that brought his experience back to Earth to share with the world". "I feel fortunate to have met him".

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

Mr Bean's wife Leslie remembered him as "the strongest and kindest man I ever knew", adding: "He was the love of my life and I miss him dearly". "I think everyone can do more than one thing with his life".

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