Famed Astronaut Alan Bean Dies at 86

Famed Astronaut Alan Bean Dies at 86

Famed Astronaut Alan Bean Dies at 86

Bean, 86, suddenly fell ill while traveling in Fort Wayne, Indiana a few weeks ago, according to a family statement released by NASA. Six years later, he piloted the lunar module on Apollo 12, the second moon landing mission, and walked on the moon's surface with fellow astronaut Charles Conrad.

In 1973, Bean commanded the Skylab 3 mission, the second manned mission to the first United States space station.

His second foray outside of Earth's atmosphere saw Bean log a record-breaking 59-day, 24.4 million-mile flight (39.3 million kilometers).

Sadly, NASA has reported that Astronaut Alan Bean has died. "A native Texans, Alan died peacefully in Houston surrounded by those who loved him".

Born March 15, 1932, in Wheeler, Texas, Bean received a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Texas in 1955.

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But in 1981, he gave up his NASA career to become a full-time artist.

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.

Bean was a US Navy test pilot prior to being picked by NASA as an astronaut in 1963.

Alan Bean's "Reaching for the Stars" graces the wall of the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.

Walt Cunningham, who flew on Apollo 7 and called Bean his best friend of 55 years, said "we are accustomed to losing friends in our business but this is a tough one".

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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".

In the four decades before he died, he spent his time making Apollo-themed paintings featured canvases textured with lunar boot prints, made using acrylics embedded with small pieces of his moon dust-stained mission patches.

"But what was truly extraordinary was his deep caring for others and his willingness to inspire and teach by sharing his personal journey so openly".

"Alan Bean once said 'I have the nicest life in the world, ' " Bridenstine said in a statement. "He was a great man and this is a great loss", said astronaut Mike Massimino, who flew on two space shuttle missions to service the Hubble Space Telescope.

Beam is survived by his wife Leslie, sister Paula Stott, and children Amy Sue and son Clay.

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