Alan Bean, the fourth human to walk on the Moon, has died

Enlarge / “Fast Times on the Ocean of Storms,” one of Bean’s paintings. (credit: The Alan Bean Gallery)

Alan Bean, the fourth human to walk on the Moon, one of the first Americans to live aboard a space station, and a man who left space flight behind to devote the second half of his life to painting, died on Saturday in Houston. He was 86.

With Bean’s passing, just four living human beings have walked on the Moon: Buzz Aldrin, 88; Dave Scott, 85; Charlie Duke, 82; and Harrison Schmitt, 82. The eight other humans who landed on the Moon in the late 1960s and early 1970s during NASA’s Apollo Program have died, as have all of the original seven astronauts in the Mercury space program.

After Bean earned an engineering degree from the University of Texas at Austin, he was commissioned in the US Navy and became first an aviator and later a test pilot. NASA selected him as a member of its third class of astronauts in 1963. Following his astronaut training, and a few stints as a back-up crew member, Bean received his assignment as the lunar module pilot for Apollo 12, which would become NASA’s second mission the Moon’s surface in November, 1969.

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Source: FS – All – Science – News
Alan Bean, the fourth human to walk on the Moon, has died