Alan Bean (1932 - 2018), Apollo astronaut walked on the Moon

Alan Bean (1932 - 2018), Apollo astronaut walked on the Moon

Astronaut Alan Bean, who was the fourth person to walk on the moon and last surviving member of the Apollo 12 mission, has died.

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

After Apollo, Bean commanded the second crewed flight to the United States' first space station, Skylab, in 1973. During the then-record-setting 59-day, 24.4 million-mile flight, Bean and his two crewmates generated 18 miles of computer tape during surveys of Earth's resources and 76,000 photographs of the Sun to help scientists better understand its affects on the solar system.

They spent about 7 hours and 45 minutes completing two moonwalks in which they deployed instruments to study the moon's geology, installed a nuclear generator to power future experimental equipment and collected an extensive assortment of moon rocks. His wife of 40 years, Leslie Bean, said in the statement that, "Alan was the strongest and kindest man I ever knew".

Fellow astronaut Harrison Schmitt called Bean "one of the great renaissance men of his generation - engineer, fighter pilot, astronaut and artist". Alan Bean died Saturday at the age of 86.

Bean was born in 1932, in Wheeler, Texas, and received a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Texas in 1955.

Astronaut Mike Massimino described Bean as "the most extraordinary person I ever met".

He obtained a commission in Navy aviation and after completing test-pilot school was selected by NASA as one of 14 new astronauts in October 1963.

He retired from the Navy in 1975 and NASA in 1981.

Mr. Bean developed his interest in painting while taking art courses early in his Navy career.

Bean is the eighth of 12 Apollo moonwalkers to die and the second this year, after the passing of Apollo 16 commander John Young in January.

"A lot of things I think about come from the right side of my brain", he said in 2007. Some of his pieces even integrated moon dust, lunar boot prints and his mission patches. I am so grateful he was my mentor and friend, and I will miss him terribly.

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