WASHINGTON – US astronaut Alan Bean, the fourth person walking on the moon, has passed away, his family said in a statement released by Nasa. He was 86 years old.
The Moonwalker, who later became a painter, died in Houston on Saturday after being suddenly ill weeks ago.
He was part of the elite group that Nasa selected for their third group of astronauts in 1963 after serving as a test pilot in the US Navy. He ventured twice into space, originally in 1969 on the Apollo 12 moon landing mission and later as commander of the second crew, to fly in 1
His second out-of-Earth excursion saw Bean log a record flight of 59 days and 24.4 million miles (39.3 million kilometers). He retired from Nasa in 1981 to begin a third career as an artist. He created Apollo-style pictures of moon-boat prints or acrylic paints interspersed with small pieces of his moon-dust-stained mission fields.
Fellow astronaut Harrison Schmitt Bean "one of the great Renaissance men of his generation – engineer, fighter pilot, astronaut and artist."
Born on March 15, 1932 in Wheeler, Texas, the future moonwalker graduated in 1955 with a degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas
He survives his wife, sister, and two children from a previous marriage.
Walt Cunningham, who flew on Apollo 7 and called Bean his best friend of 55, said, "We're used to losing friends of our business, but that's a tough one."
"Alan and I have Never missed a month when we did not have a cheeseburger. " Bean told the New York Times in 1994 of the otherworldly perspectives he invented in the space of space" Half of his life is art, to the surprise of many of his colleagues. "
"Every artist has the earth or his imagination to inspire his images," he said.
"I have the earth and my imagination, and I'm the first to have the moon."