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Alan Bean, member of Apollo 12 moon mission, dies at 86

Apollo 12 launches from Kennedy Space Center, November 14, 1969. (NASA)

Alan Bean, the fourth man to walk on the Moon who later turned to painting, died Saturday. He was 86.

Bean, a native of Wheeler, Texas, was a member of the Apollo 12 mission in November 1969, traveling to the moon alongside Pete Conrad and Richard Gordon.

Bean and Conrad conducted experiments on the moon’s surface and installed a nuclear power generator on the moon.

He was also spacecraft commander of Skylab Mission II in 1973, spending 59 days in space.

After his space days, Bean became a painter, inspired in large part by his space travel experiences.

“In his 18 years as an astronaut, he was fortunate enough to visit worlds and see sights no artists eye, past or present, has ever viewed firsthand and he hopes to express these experiences through the medium of art,” NASA wrote in its biography on Bean.

Bean was hospitalized in mid-May after traveling to Indiana for a speech, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reported.

Bean was married and had two grown children, a son and a daughter.


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