Apollo 12 Astronaut Alan Bean, The Fourth Person To Walk On The Moon, Has Died At 86

Must read

Alan LaVern
Bean, the fourth human to walk on the Moon, has died at the age of 86.
Following reports that he had passed away, the news was confirmed today by

Bean was
born on March 15, 1932 in Wheeler, Texas. In 1963, he was selected by NASA to
become an astronaut as part of their third group of astronauts.

serving as a backup on the Gemini 10 and Apollo 9 missions, Bean got his first
flight to space on Apollo 12 as the lunar module pilot. On November 19, 1969,
he and Pete Conrad became the third and fourth people to set foot on the Moon.

pictured shaving on the Skylab 3 mission. NASA

In an
interview with NPR in 2014, Bean described the experience as being “like
science fiction
”. He said it was “hard for me to believe,” adding: “I
would look down and say, ‘This is the moon, this is the moon,’ and I would look
up and say, ‘That’s the Earth, that’s the Earth,’ in my head
The mission
was not without incident. 30 seconds after launching on a Saturn V rocket from
Kennedy Space Center, the rocket was hit by lightning. And then, 30 seconds
later, it was hit by lightning again, with Bean describing alarms blaring as
they flew into space. Thankfully, the mission was not aborted.
Conrad and
Bean spent more than 10 hours on the Moon in a region called the Ocean of
Storms, during which time they walked to the Surveyor 3 probe, a previous
unmanned mission that had landed on the Moon. They also collected rocks,
conducted experiments, and took numerous photographs.

Alan Bean on
the Moon, pictured by Pete Conrad. NASA

This was not
Bean’s only mission to space. In June 1973 he was part of the second crewed
mission (called Skylab 3) to the US space station Skylab, along with Owen
Garriott and Jack Lousma. They spent 59 days in space, a record that was
eclipsed months later by the Skylab 4 mission.
resigned from NASA in June 1981, having spent a total of 1,671 hours and 45
minutes in space. He used his subsequent time to work on art in his studio at
home, even using moon dust and pieces of his spacesuit in paintings that were
given to him by NASA. And he really liked to draw the Moon.
I’m the
only artist in all of history that… can paint that thing
,” he told the
Washington Post in 2009.
the death of Bean, there are now just four astronauts who have walked on the
Moon left alive – Buzz Aldrin, David Scott, Charlie Duke, and Jack Schmitt.

Via IFLScience.

More articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest article