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November 12, 2018

Astronaut Alan Bean, member of Apollo 12 moon mission, dead at 86

May 27, 2018

Astronaut Alan Bean, the fourth man to walk on the Moon who later turned to painting, died Saturday. He was 86.

Astronaut Alan Bean, the fourth man to walk on the Moon who later turned to painting, died Saturday. He was 86.

Bean, a native of Wheeler, Texas, was a member of the Apollo 12 mission in November 1969, traveling to the moon alongside Pete Conrad and Richard Gordon.




Former astronaut Alan Bean, who walked on the moon during Apollo 12, poses with his book in his painting studio at his Houston home, Sept. 30, 1998. (Encyclopaedia Britannica/UIG/REX/Shutterstock)

Bean and Conrad conducted experiments on the moon’s surface and installed a nuclear power generator on the moon.

He was also spacecraft commander of Skylab Mission II in 1973, spending 59 days in space.

Following his space days, Bean became a painter — inspired in large part by his out-of-this-world experiences.

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“In his 18 years as an astronaut, he was fortunate enough to visit worlds and see sights no artists eye, past or present, has ever viewed firsthand and he hopes to express these experiences through the medium of art,” NASA wrote in its biography on Bean.

Bean was hospitalized in mid-May after traveling to Indiana for a speech, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reported. He was later the subject of death rumors on social media, with celebrities such as Tom Hanks — who starred in “Apollo 13” — reflecting on Bean’s life.

Astronaut Alan Bean with a container of lunar soil collected during Apollo XII (Apollo 12) extravehicular activity.
Astronaut Alan Bean with a container of lunar soil collected during Apollo XII (Apollo 12) extravehicular activity. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

“Alan Bean. Artist. Astronaut. Apollo 12. Ocean of Storms. Footprints on the moon. Skylab, too. Great guy. Goodbye,” Hanks wrote.

Bean was married and had two grown children, a son and a daughter.




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