Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean dies

29 May, 2018, 16:30 | Author: Rosalie Gross
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"When I became head of the Skylab Branch of the Astronaut Office, we worked together and Alan eventually commanded the second Skylab mission".

An official statement has been released by his family members and NASA official about his sudden demise at the age of 86.

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

"I wanted to be courageous, even though I wasn't fearless at the time".

It wasn't long, however, before Bean began taking art classes, and transitioned from astronaut to full-time painter, officially retiring from NASA in 1981. In 1963, he was selected to join NASA's third group of astronauts.

"I think of myself not as an astronaut who paints, but as an artist who was once an astronaut", wrote Bean in his 1998 book Apollo written with Andrew Chaikin.

In 1973, Bean commanded the second mission to Skylab, the first US space station. 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.

"Alan and I have been best friends for 55 years - ever since the day we became astronauts", said Walt Cunningham, a Lunar Module Pilot on the Apollo 7 mission.

Mr Bean's death means that only four of the 12 Apollo moonwalkers are still alive - Buzz Aldrin, Dave Scott, Charlie Duke and Harrison Schmitt.

Bean was born on March 15, 1932, in Wheeler, Tex., and completed high school in Fort Worth.

Bean was the lunar module pilot on Apollo 12, which made the second moon landing in 1969.

"Alan Bean was the most extraordinary person I ever met", astronaut Mike Massimino told NASA.

He said: "I think a lot of it just had to do with it looked exciting".

"We're saddened by the passing of astronaut Alan Bean".

Over the course of that third career, Bean created more than 100 paintings that he said marked "the beginning of a new category in the progression of art history: art of human experiences off our home planet". "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 is survived by his wife Leslie, a sister Paula Stott, and two children from a prior marriage, a daughter Amy Sue and son Clay.

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