Alan Bean, 4th man on the moon, dies aged 86

Alan Bean, 4th man on the moon, dies aged 86

Bean went to space twice, walking on the moon in November 1969 as lunar module pilot for the Apollo-12 mission.

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.

In 1981, after logging more than 25 million miles of spaceflight, he retired at the age of 49 as head of the NASA astronaut training group to become an artist.

They were busy, but, as Bean recalled during a 2016 NPR interview, "as I ran along, I remember. saying to myself, 'You know, this is really the moon". She added he died "peacefully. surrounded by those who loved him".

Bean, who was an Apollo 12 astronaut, was one of 12 men to walk on the moon, and his death comes only four months after fellow moon-walker John Young died. "He was the love of my life and I miss him dearly", said Leslie Bean, Alan Bean's wife of 40 years.

Bean spent 69 days, 15 hours and 45 minutes in space, including 31 hours and 31 minutes on the moon's surface.

On Nov. 19, 1969, Bean, along with Apollo 12 commander, Charles "Pete" Conrad, landed on the Ocean of Storms and Bean became the fourth human to walk on the moon.

"I think I would like to be remembered in the end as an astronaut and an artist", Bean told People.

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In 1973, he commanded the second crewed flight to the first U.S. space station, orbiting the Earth for 59 days and travelling 24.4 million miles - one of 11 world records he set in the fields of space and aeronautics.

"As all great explorers are, Alan was a boundary pusher", said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a statement that credited Bean with being part of 11 world records in the areas of space and aeronautics.

"I wanted to be courageous, even though I wasn't fearless at the time". "He was a one of a kind combination of technical achievement as an astronaut and artistic achievement as a painter".

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

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

Mr. Bean returned to space in July 1973, when he commanded a three-man flight to the orbiting space research station Skylab, the forerunner of the International Space Station.

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

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