28th May 2018 01:02 AM EDT
Alan Bean, the fourth person ever to walk on the Moon, died Saturday, May 26, in Houston, Texas. He was 86 years old.
The legendary Apollo and Skylab astronaut died two weeks before his death on the way to Fort Wayne, Indiana
A Space Icon and an Outstanding Artist
After being selected by the US Navy, Bean carved an impressive career at NASA, consisting of two voyages into space
The first time was the lunar module pilot on Apollo 12 for the second moon landing in 1969. During this mission, he earned the title of the fourth man to walk on the moon. He also helped with the construction of the first nuclear generator station and some surface experiments.
Harrison Schmitt, the Apollo 1
Bean became commander of the second manned flight to Skylab, the first space station in the United States in 1973
After his retirement from the Navy and NASA, Bean became a dedicated artist who created Apollo-style images with special accents Had moonprints and mission fields with lunar dust.
"While he was captured These great scenes from the story and scenes that could never be captured by a camera, and only in painting, he would basically sprinkle them with moon dust," explains Robert Z. Pearlman, Space History Specialist, BBC 59004] Family, Friends on Alan Bean
The astronaut, nicknamed "Apollo Moonwalker and Artist" by NASA, survives his 40-year-old wife Leslie Bean, two children from a previous marriage, and his Sister Paula Stott.
"Alan was the strongest and friendliest man I've ever known," says Leslie. "He was the love of my life and I miss him very much."
She adds that her husband, "a Texas native," died peacefully with his loved ones around him.
His colleagues also provided insights into the man behind the legend, notably Walt Cunningham, who was part of the Apollo 7 team and has been friends with Bean for 55 years.
"We never lived more than a few miles apart, even after leaving NASA." Cunningham shares. "And for years, Alan and I have never missed a month when we did not have a cheeseburger at Miller's Café in Houston, and we're used to losing friends in our business, but it's a tough fight."
Mike Massimino, astronaut He calls him the "most extraordinary person" and praises his technical and artistic achievements.
"Like all great explorers, Alan was a frontier worker, and instead of accepting the limits of technology, science, and even imagination, he tried to advance those lines – in all his efforts," adds NASA Administrator Jim Briddentine.
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