Alan Bean (1932 - 2018), Apollo astronaut walked on the Moon

Alan Bean (1932 - 2018), Apollo astronaut walked on the Moon”

Bean, who passed away at Houston Methodist after battling a short illness, was a lunar module pilot on Apollo 12 in 1969, the second manned flight to land on the moon.

Bean, 86, suddenly fell ill while traveling in Fort Wayne, Indiana a few weeks ago, according to a family statement released by NASA. Six years later, he piloted the lunar module on Apollo 12, the second moon landing mission, and walked on the moon's surface with fellow astronaut Charles Conrad.

NASA said Bean was one of the third group of astronauts named by NASA in October 1963.

Artist-astronaut Alan Bean, the moonwalker who saw himself as different from the rest, died today at the age of 86 at Houston Medical Hospital.

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. "A native Texan, Alan died peacefully in Houston surrounded by those who loved him".

Leslie Bean, Alan Bean's wife of 40 years, said her husband was the strongest and kindest man she ever knew.

Bean was born in 1932, in Wheeler, Texas, and received a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Texas in 1955.

Among other things, the two explorers collected 75 pounds of moon rocks and soil for study on Earth.

After Apollo, Bean commanded the second crewed flight to the United States' first space station, Skylab, in 1973.

NASA tweeted saying Bean was Spacecraft Commander of Skylab Mission II who retired from NASA in 1981 and devoted his retirement to painting. "He said he hoped to capture those experiences through his art".

"I would say I had zero philosophical thoughts at that time", Bean told NPR of his time on the moon in 2014.

"I'd always wanted to be a pilot, ever since I could remember", Bean said in 1998 NASA oral history. "He was the love of my life and I miss him dearly". "I think a lot of it just had to do with it looked exciting".

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

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