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Moonwalking astronaut-artist Alan Bean dies at 86
27 May 2018, 09:59 | Ross Houston
Astronaut Alan Bean Fourth Person to Walk on the Moon Dies at 86 AFP Getty Images 26 May 2018
Bean, 86, died on Saturday, May 26, at Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas.
Bean was the lunar module pilot for the second moon landing mission in November 1969.
His second foray outside of Earth's atmosphere saw Bean log a record-breaking 59-day, 24.4 million-mile flight (39.3 million kilometers).
They spent about 7 hours and 45 minutes completing two moonwalks in which they deployed instruments to study the moon's geology, installed a nuclear generator to power future experimental equipment and collected an extensive assortment of moon rocks.
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The fourth man to walk on the moon, Alan Bean (in 2008), has died at age 86, following a sudden illness.
Alan Bean's "Reaching for the Stars" graces the wall of the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.
Bean served as a test pilot in the U.S. Navy, and was among 14 trainees who were selected by NASA in 1963 for its third group of astronauts - after the Mercury Seven and the New Nine. They included a re-creation of Armstrong securing an American flag in the lunar dust; Mr. Bean standing alongside Conrad on the moon, looking toward Earth; Eugene Cernan riding in a lunar rover during the Apollo 17 mission and Earth rising above the moon. Bean is one of only 12 men to have touched the moon's surface. "But I've been there and I can tell you it's mostly black dirt".
In addition to his wife, Leslie, Alan Bean is survived by a sister, Paula Stott; and two children from a previous marriage, Amy Sue Bean and Clay Bean.
"I remember once looking back at Earth and starting to think, 'Gee, that's handsome.' Then I said to myself, 'Quit screwing off and go collect rocks.' We figured reflection wasn't productive", Alan Bean was quoted as saying by People magazine in 1981.
He added: "I think of myself not as an astronaut who paints, but as an artist who was once an astronaut".
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