Astronaut and moonwalker Alan Bean dies at 86

Astronaut and moonwalker Alan Bean dies at 86

Astronaut and moonwalker Alan Bean dies at 86

On that mission, he lived and worked on board the Skylab, orbiting the Earth for 59 days, traveling 24.4million miles.

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

"Alan was the strongest and kindest man I ever knew". Other times, he wanted to discuss items in the description he was writing to go with a painting.

After retiring from the Navy in 1975 and NASA in 1981, respectively, Bean became an artist and focused his energy on painting artistic impressions of the moon landing.

He then attended the US Navy's Test Pilot School and accumulated more than 5,500 hours of flying time in 27 different types of aircraft.

His paintings drew on his recollections, interviews with fellow astronauts, photos, and videos.

"Alan Bean once said 'I have the nicest life in the world, ' " Bridenstine said in a statement.

For the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11's moon landing, Bean exhibited his paintings of lunar scenes at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum in Washington.

In 1973, Bean commanded the Skylab 3 mission, the second manned mission to the first U.S. space station. Armstrong once said, "Alan Bean and his "astroartistry" recreate the drama and excitement of man's exploration of the moon as only could be chronicled by one who has been there".

His first mission to space was in November 1969 as a member of the Apollo 12 crew, the second to land on the moon, it said.

"I said, 'I'm going to be an artist, '" Bean recalled.

The Apollo 12 mission started with a shakeup. There are now only four men alive who have ever been on the moon, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, David Scott, Charles Duke, Jr., and Harrison "Jack" Schmitt.

"Alan Bean was the most extraordinary person I ever met", said astronaut Mike Massimino, who flew on two space shuttle missions to service the Hubble Space Telescope.

Bean was born in Wheeler, Texas, in 1932 and educated at the University of Texas - graduating in 1955.

"We're saddened by the passing of astronaut Alan Bean". "I was fortunate to be the first artist with the opportunity to be in the center of the action to capture what I saw and felt, and bring it back to earth to share with generations to come".

He leaves his second wife, Leslie, a son, Clay, and a daughter, Amy Sue, from his marriage to his first wife, Sue.

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