Alan Bean, the fourth man to walk on the moon and years later began telling the story of the NASA Apollo missions when they began to return to history, died Saturday at Houston Methodist Hospital. He was 86. His death was announced by his family in a statement released by NASA. Bean went to the lunar surface in November 1969, four months after Neil Armstrong, followed by Pete Conrad, the commander of their Apollo 12 flight, and Buzz Aldrin became the first lunar explorer. Though not as dramatic in its own right as Apollo 11's pioneering mission, the Apollo 12 flight did lead to a more comprehensive exploration of the Moon. Bean returned to space in July 1
The astronauts of this mission spent 59 days in space. Twelve astronauts finally went on six moonlit Apollo missions.
As Bean, a former Navy test pilot who left NASA in 1981, he drew a long-standing interest in painting to become a full-time artist.
Many of Bean's astronaut colleagues were obviously amazed that he chose the art world over private businesses.
"I'd say 60% of them thought I might have a mid-life crisis," Bean recalled in his book
(1998), written with Andrew Chaikin, in which he reproduced many of his paintings. "Every artist has the earth or his imagination to inspire his images," said Bean
The New York Times
1994. "I have the earth and my imagination, and I'm the first to have the moon."
Bean & # 39; s pictures included a replica of Armstrong, who attached an American flag to moon dust; Bean stands next to Conrad on the moon and looks at the earth; Eugene A. Cernan drives in a moonrover during the Apollo 17 mission, and the earth rises over the moon.
From his home in Houston, Bean sought accuracy in presenting astronaut equipment and the prevailing light, but his paintings often give a sense of what it was like to work on the moon instead of recreating an exact moment. He used the color generously instead of black, gray, and white of the lunar terrain and the sky.
It was selected by NASA in October 1963 as one of 14 new astronauts. But it was not until Apollo 12 that it flew into space. Seconds after the capsule was started, a lightning bolt extinguished its electrical equipment, but its power was quickly restored.
Bean and Conrad made a pinpoint landing on the so-called ocean of storms after they descended from the capsule in their lunar module by a third astronaut, Richard Gordon, into orbit. They spent about 7 hours and 45 minutes doing two moonwalks using instruments to study the geology of the moon. NY Times