Astronaut Who Walked On Moon Alan Bean Dies At 86

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Six years later he became the lunar module pilot in the second U.S. mission to the Moon: Apollo 12. According to Bean's official NASA biography, Mission II "accomplished 150 percent of its pre-mission forecast goals".

His wife of 40 years, Leslie Bean, said in the statement he died peacefully surrounded by those who loved him. "We're really here. That's the Earth up there.' And I said it two or three times to myself".

Born in Texas in 1932, Bean graduated the University of Texas with a degree in aeronautical engineering in 1955 and went on to the Navy Test Pilot School.

His paintings drew on his recollections, interviews with fellow astronauts, photos, and videos.

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

Astronaut-artist Alan Bean speaks at the 2009 opening of an exhibit titled "Alan Bean: Painting Apollo, First Artist on Another World" at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington.

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

Alan Bean (R), pictured in November 1969 with his fellow U.S. astronauts of Apollo 12, Charles "Pete" Conrad, Jr.

In November 1969, he was the lunar module pilot for the second moon landing mission and completed two moonwalks.

Mr Bean's death means that only four of the 12 Apollo moonwalkers are still alive - Buzz Aldrin, Dave Scott, Charlie Duke and Harrison Schmitt. "He was a one of a kind combination of technical achievement as an astronaut and artistic achievement as a painter".

Bean left his footprints on a region called the Ocean of Storms four months after Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon, in the historic Apollo 11 mission of July 1969. He depicted his imagination by showing lunar boot prints and small pieces of his mission patches, covered with moon dust.

He said he thought about it often, "and when I look at the moon at night, [I] think about that pin up there, just as shiny as it ever was, and someday maybe somebody will go pick it up".

"Sad day. Not only did we lose a spaceflight pioneer, 4th man to walk on the moon, but also an exceptional artist that brought his experience back to Earth to share with the world".

He is survived by his wife, sister and two children from a prior marriage.

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