Astronaut Alan Bean, Apollo Moonwalker-Turned-Artist, Dies at 86

Space.com | 5/26/2018 | Staff
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HOUSTON — Apollo astronaut Alan Bean, who shared his experiences as the fourth human to walk on the moon through paintings sprinkled with lunar dust, has died at the age of 86.

Bean died on Saturday (May 26) at Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, as confirmed by his wife, Leslie. His death followed his suddenly falling ill while on travel in Fort Wayne, Indiana two weeks ago.

Alan - Man - Love - Life - Leslie

"Alan was the strongest and kindest man I ever knew. He was the love of my life," said Leslie Bean in a statement released by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation on Saturday. "A native Texan, Alan died peacefully in Houston, surrounded by those who loved him."

A member of NASA's third group of astronauts selected in 1963, Bean flew twice into space, first as the lunar module pilot on the Apollo 12 moon landing mission in November 1969, and then as the commander of the second crewed expedition to the United States' first space station, Skylab, in July 1973.

Days - Hours - Minutes - Space - Hours

In total, he logged 69 days, 15 hours and 45 minutes in space, including 31 hours and 31 minutes on the lunar surface. He then spent four decades interpreting what he saw as a professional artist.

NASA portrait of Apollo 12 lunar module pilot Alan Bean.

Bean - Journey - Moon - Flash - Flashes

Bean's journey to the moon almost ended in a flash. Or rather two flashes, had it not been for his memory of an obscure switch in his spacecraft.

Launched on top of a Saturn V rocket on Nov. 14, 1969, Bean and his two Apollo 12 crewmates, Charles "Pete" Conrad and Richard "Dick" Gordon, were less than a minute into flight when their booster was struck by lightning, twice. The electrical discharge knocked out their power and garbled the telemetry streaming to Mission Control.

Flight - Controller - John - Aaron - Test

A quick-thinking flight controller, John Aaron, recalled a test from a year...
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