Moonwalker and space artist Alan Bean dies

Tom Stoddart Archive via Getty Images

Tom Stoddart Archive via Getty Images

Former US astronaut Alan Bean, who was the fourth man to walk on the Moon, has died in Texas aged 86, his family has said. In November of 1969, he became the fourth person to walk on the moon during the Apollo 12 mission-four months after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first people to make the lunar trek on Apollo 11.

Reflecting on his experience, Bean once said: "I remember once looking back at Earth and starting to think, Gee, that's handsome.' Then I said to myself, 'Quit screwing off and go collect rocks.' We figured reflection wasn't productive".

He went into space a second time in July 1973, as the commander of the second crewed flight to Skylab, the U.S.' first space station. The astronauts on that mission spent 59 days in space, a record at the time.

After retiring from NASA, he became an artist. His paintings have been exhibited at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington and have sold to collectors for well in excess of $100,000.

Bean was widely respected as a pilot and astronaut but was equally known as a space-themed artist.

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

Bean served as lunar module pilot on Apollo 12. Bean and crew member Pete Conrad explored the moon's surface and conducted experiments while Richard Gordon orbited overhead in the command module, looking for prospective landing positions for future moon missions.

Irish travel from around world, including Boston, to overturn abortion ban
According to Today FM , the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that the Yes vote was "Ireland's second chance to treat everyone equally". In the United Kingdom , abortion is legal on the British mainland but remains outlawed in Northern Ireland.

In total, Bean logged 69 days, 15 hours and 45 minutes in space, including 31 hours and 31 minutes on the moon's surface, according to NASA.

He received a Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Texas in 1955. All were promoted by President Nixon to the rank of captain.

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

Mr. Bean developed his interest in painting while taking art courses early in his Navy career. The paintings sometimes included footprints from a molding of the boots he wore on the moon along with pieces of his spacesuit patches and a sprinkling of their moondust residue.

"I'd always wanted to be a pilot, ever since I could remember", Bean said in the 1998 NASA oral history. But I've been there and I can tell you it's mostly black dirt.

He later described how complex and risky the mission had been: "It was more science fiction to us, I think, than it was to the average public".

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.