Alan LaVern Bean (March 15, 1932 – May 26, 2018) was an American naval officer and naval aviator, aeronautical engineer, test pilot, and NASA astronaut; he was the fourth person to walk on the Moon. He was selected to become an astronaut by NASA in 1963 as part of Astronaut Group 3.
He made his first flight into space aboard Apollo 12, the second manned mission to land on the Moon, at age 37 in November 1969. He made his second and final flight into space on the Skylab 3 mission in 1973, the second manned mission to the Skylab space station. After retiring from the United States Navy in 1975 and NASA in 1981, he pursued his interest in painting, depicting various space-related scenes and documenting his own experiences in space as well as that of his fellow Apollo program astronauts. He was the last living crew member of Apollo 12.
|Born||Alan LaVern Bean|
March 15, 1932
Wheeler, Texas, U.S.
|Died||May 26, 2018 (aged 86)|
Houston, Texas, U.S.
|Arlington National Cemetery|
|Naval aviator, test pilot|
|UT Austin, B.S. 1955|
Time in space
|69d 15h 45min|
|Selection||1963 NASA Group 3|
Total EVA time
|10 hours 26 minutes|
|Missions||Apollo 12, Skylab 3|
Bean was born March 15, 1932, in Wheeler, the seat of Wheeler County in the northeastern Texas Panhandle. He considered Fort Worth his hometown. He was of Scottish descent. As a boy, he lived in Minden, the seat of Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana, where his father worked for the U.S. Soil Conservation Service. Bean was a Boy Scout and he earned the rank of First Class. He graduated from R. L. Paschal High School in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1950.
Bean was commissioned a U.S. Navy ensign through the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) at UT Austin, and attended flight training. After completing flight training, he was assigned to Attack Squadron 44 (VA-44) at NAS Jacksonville, Florida, from 1956 to 1960, flying the F9F Cougar and A4D Skyhawk. After a four-year tour of duty, he attended the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS) at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, where his instructor was his future Apollo 12 Commander, Pete Conrad. He then flew as a test pilot on several types of naval aircraft. Following his assignment at USNTPS, he was assigned to Navy Attack Squadron VA-172 at NAS Cecil Field, Florida, flying the A-4 Skyhawk from 1962 to 1963, during which time he was selected as a NASA astronaut.
Bean was selected by NASA as part of Astronaut Group 3 in 1963 (after not being selected for Astronaut Group 2 the previous year). He was selected to be the backup command pilot for Gemini 10, but was unsuccessful in securing an early Apollo flight assignment. He was placed in the Apollo Applications Program in the interim. In that capacity, he was the first astronaut to dive in the Neutral Buoyancy Simulator and a champion of the process for astronaut training. When fellow astronaut Clifton Williams was killed in an air crash, a space was opened for Bean on the backup crew for Apollo 9. Apollo 12 Commander Conrad, who had instructed Bean at the Naval Flight Test School years before, personally requested Bean to replace Williams.
Bean was the Apollo Lunar Module pilot on Apollo 12, the second lunar landing. In November 1969, Bean and Pete Conrad landed on the Moon's Ocean of Storms—after a flight of 250,000 miles and a launch that included a harrowing lightning strike. He was the astronaut who executed John Aaron's "Flight, try SCE to 'Aux'" instruction to restore telemetry after the spacecraft was struck by lightning 36 seconds after launch, thus salvaging the mission. They explored the lunar surface, deployed several lunar surface experiments, and installed the first nuclear power generator station on the Moon to provide the power source. Dick Gordon remained in lunar orbit, photographing landing sites for future missions.
Bean had planned on using a self-timer for his Hasselblad camera to take a photograph of both Pete Conrad and himself while on the lunar surface near the Surveyor III spacecraft. He was hoping to record a good photo, and also to confuse the mission scientists as to how the photo could have been taken. However, neither he nor Conrad could locate the timer in the tool carrier tote bag while at the Surveyor III site, thus lost the opportunity. After finding the self-timer unit at the end of the EVA, when it was too late to use, he threw it as far as he could. His paintings of what this photo would have looked like (titled The Fabulous Photo We Never Took) and one of his fruitless search for the timer (Our Little Secret) are included in his collection of Apollo paintings.
Bean was the spacecraft commander of Skylab 3, the second manned mission to Skylab, from July 29 to September 25, 1973. With him on the mission were scientist-astronaut Owen Garriott and Marine Corps Colonel Jack R. Lousma. Bean and his crew were on Skylab for 59 days, during which time they covered a world-record-setting 24.4 million miles. During the mission, Bean tested a prototype of the Manned Maneuvering Unit and performed one spacewalk outside the Skylab. The crew of Skylab 3 accomplished 150% of its mission goals.
Bean resigned from NASA in June 1981 to devote his time to painting. He said his decision was based on the fact that, in his 18 years as an astronaut, he was fortunate enough to visit worlds and see sights no artist's eye, past or present, has ever viewed firsthand and he hoped to express these experiences through his art.
As a painter, Bean wanted to add color to the Moon. "I had to figure out a way to add color to the Moon without ruining it," he remarked. In his paintings, the lunar landscape is not a monotonous gray, but shades of various colors. "If I were a scientist painting the Moon, I would paint it gray. I'm an artist, so I can add colors to the Moon", said Bean.
Bean's paintings include Lunar Grand Prix and Rock and Roll on the Ocean of Storms, and he used real Moon dust in his paintings. When he began painting, he realized that keepsake patches from his space suit were dirty with Moon dust. He added tiny pieces of the patches to his paintings, which made them unique. He also used a hammer, used to pound the flagpole into the lunar surface, and a bronzed Moon boot to texture his paintings.
But I'm the only one who can paint the Moon, because I'm the only one who knows whether that's right or not.— Bean describing his Moon painting capability
Bean died on May 26, 2018, in Houston, Texas, at the age of 86. His death followed the sudden onset of illness two weeks before while he was in Fort Wayne, Indiana. At the time of his death, Bean was married to his second wife, Leslie. He had a son, Clay, and a daughter, Amy Sue, both from his first marriage.
Bean was interred in Arlington National Cemetery on November 8, 2018 with a service which included a flyover, military band, carriage procession, and gun salute.
Bean was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame in 1983, the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1997, the International Air & Space Hall of Fame in 2010, and the National Aviation Hall of Fame for 2010. He was also a fellow of the American Astronautical Society and a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.
Bean received the University of Texas Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1970 and the Distinguished Engineering Graduate Award. The 1973 Robert J. Collier Trophy was awarded to NASA and the Skylab crew. Bean was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Texas Wesleyan College in 1972, and was presented an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering Science degree from the University of Akron (Ohio) in 1974. In 1975, President Ford presented Skylab commander Gerald Carr with the Dr. Robert H. Goddard Memorial Trophy at a White House ceremony, on behalf of all Skylab astronauts (including Bean). Bean was a co-recipient of AIAA's Octave Chanute Award for 1975, along with fellow Skylab 3 astronauts Jack Lousma and Owen Garriott.
In the 1998 HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, Bean was portrayed by Dave Foley. Swedish indie pop artist Stina Nordenstam has a song called "The Return of Alan Bean" on her 1991 debut album Memories of a Color. British indie rock band Hefner released a single called "Alan Bean" in 2001, writing from the perspective of Bean during Apollo 12.
Bean's in-flight Skylab diary is featured in Homesteading Space: the Skylab Story, a history of the Skylab program co-authored by fellow astronauts Dr. Joseph Kerwin and Dr. Owen Garriott and writer David Hitt, published in 2008.
Alan Bean a mild mannered white former minister working to uncover injustice and organize black opposition, in the racial controversies surrounding the Tulia 46 drug sting in Tulia, Texas and the Jena Six controversy in Jena, Louisiana.
In 1999, Dr. Alan Bean founded the organization, Friends of Justice, an alliance of community members to advocate for criminal justice reform.Alan Bean (disambiguation)
Alan Bean (1932–2018) was an American astronaut.
Alan Bean may also refer to:
Alan Bean (activist), American activist
"Alan Bean" (song), a 2001 song by HefnerAlan Bean (song)
"Alan Bean" is a single by British indie rock band Hefner. It was released on three formats by Too Pure in 2001.
The title song is about astronaut Alan Bean, who was the fourth person to walk on the Moon. The band had the opportunity to speak to Bean as a surprise guest on Amsterdam's VPRO.
All the tracks from all three formats were later included in the 2011 re-issue of the Dead Media album.Apollo 12
Apollo 12 was the sixth manned flight in the United States Apollo program and the second to land on the Moon. It was launched on November 14, 1969, from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, four months after Apollo 11. Commander Charles "Pete" Conrad and Lunar Module Pilot Alan L. Bean performed just over one day and seven hours of lunar surface activity while Command Module Pilot Richard F. Gordon remained in lunar orbit. The landing site for the mission was located in the southeastern portion of the Ocean of Storms.
Unlike the first landing on Apollo 11, Conrad and Bean achieved a precise landing at their expected location, the site of the Surveyor 3 unmanned probe, which had landed on April 20, 1967. They carried the first color television camera to the lunar surface on an Apollo flight, but transmission was lost after Bean accidentally destroyed the camera by pointing it at the Sun. On one of two moonwalks, they visited the Surveyor and removed some parts for return to Earth. The mission ended on November 24 with a successful splashdown.Bench Crater meteorite
The Bench Crater meteorite is a meteorite discovered on the Moon by Apollo 12 astronauts in 1969. It was the first meteorite to be discovered on a solar system body other than the Earth. It is listed as a carbonaceous chondrite by the Meteoritical Society.Chief of the Astronaut Office
The Chief of the Astronaut Office is the most senior leadership position for active astronauts at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The Chief Astronaut serves as head of the NASA Astronaut Corps and is the principal advisor to the NASA Administrator on astronaut training and operations.Clifton Williams
Clifton Curtis "C.C." Williams Jr. (September 26, 1932 – October 5, 1967) (Major, USMC), was an American naval aviator, test pilot, mechanical engineer, major in the United States Marine Corps, and NASA astronaut, who was killed in a plane crash; he had never been to space. The crash was caused by a mechanical failure in a NASA T-38 jet trainer, which he was piloting to visit his parents in Mobile, Alabama. The failure caused the flight controls to stop responding, and although he activated the ejection seat, it did not save him. He was the fourth astronaut from NASA's Astronaut Group 3 to have died, the first two (Charles Bassett and Theodore Freeman) having been killed in separate T-38 flights, and the third (Roger B. Chaffee) in the Apollo 1 fire earlier that year. The aircraft crashed in Florida near Tallahassee within an hour of departing Patrick AFB.
Although he was never on a spaceflight, he served as backup pilot for the mission Gemini 10, which took place in July 1966. Following this mission, he was selected to be the Lunar Module pilot for an Apollo mission to the Moon commanded by Pete Conrad. Following Williams' death, Alan Bean became Lunar Module pilot for Conrad's mission, which ended up being Apollo 12, the second lunar landing.Dead Media
Dead Media is the fourth, and currently final, album by British indie rock band Hefner. It was originally released in 2001 on Too Pure.
A reissue was released on 4 July 2011, which included all the tracks from The Hefner Brain EP, the "Alan Bean" single releases, and the "Trouble Kid" 7" single, among other bonus tracks.James May on the Moon
James May on the Moon is a British documentary in which James May commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Apollo moon landings. It was first aired on BBC Two on 21 June 2009 and on 10 November 2009 on BBC America in the United States.
The show saw May interviewing Apollo moonwalkers Harrison Schmitt, Alan Bean, and Charlie Duke, before himself experiencing weightlessness and G-forces similar to that of a Saturn V rocket launch.
As a passenger in a Lockheed U-2 spy plane, May flies to the stratosphere with his instructor pilot, Major John "Cabi" Cabigas, where they are able to view the curvature of the Earth and the atmosphere. His training for this was shown in the BBC Four documentary James May at the Edge of Space.List of artificial objects on the Moon
This is a partial listing of artificial materials on the Lunar surface. The table below does not separately list small items such as retroreflectors, Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Packages, or the commemorative, artistic, and personal objects left there by Apollo astronauts, such as the US flags, commemorative plaques attached to the ladders of the Apollo Lunar Modules, the silver astronaut pin left by Alan Bean in honor of Clifton C. Williams whom he replaced, the Bible left by David Scott, the Fallen Astronaut statuette and memorial plaque left by the crew of Apollo 15, the Apollo 11 goodwill messages disc, and the golf balls Alan Shepard hit during an Apollo 14 moonwalk.
The remains of five S-IVB third stages of Saturn V rockets from the Apollo program are the heaviest single pieces sent to the Lunar surface. Humans have left over 187,400 kilograms (413,100 lb) of material on the Moon, and 380 kilograms (838 lb) of Moon rock was brought back to Earth by Apollo and Luna missions. The only artificial objects on the Moon that are still in use are the retroreflectors for the lunar laser ranging experiments left there by the Apollo 11, 14, and 15 astronauts and by the Lunokhod 1 and Lunokhod 2 missions.Objects at greater than 90 degrees east or west are on the far side of the Moon, including Ranger 4, Lunar Orbiter 1, Lunar Orbiter 2 and Lunar Orbiter 3.List of space artists
This list of space artists includes artists who produce art about space, such as paintings of proposed space missions.
David A. Hardy
Robert McCall (Bob McCall)
James VaughnAstronaut space artists:
Lunarcy! is a 2012 Canadian documentary film directed by Simon Ennis, and produced by Jonas Bell Pasht, Ron Mann and Jonah Bekhor. The film premiered at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival on September 8, and was distributed worldwide through German Screen. The film draws from a cast of real people who each have a unique connection to the Moon. These include Alan Bean (an astronaut who was one of 12 people to have walked on the Moon) and an individual who claims personal ownership of the Moon.One of the characters in this documentary is Professor Jaymie Matthews, an astrophysics professor at the University of British Columbia. At age 13 he lied about his age to be selected as the Youth Ambassador from Canada for the 1972 launch of Apollo 17. After the launch, the United States sent 13-year-old Matthews Canada's $5 million Apollo 17 Goodwill Moon Rock, which he kept under his bed for months. Upon recovering the rock from Matthews, Canada lost track of it for decades, incorrectly believing it to have been stolen.Modular Equipment Transporter
The Modular Equipment Transporter (MET) was a two-wheeled, hand-pulled vehicle that was used as an equipment hauling device on traverses across the lunar surface. Designed after Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean had difficulties lugging their equipment significant distances to and from their Lunar Module, the MET primarily functioned as a portable workbench with a place for hand tools and their carrier, cameras, spare camera magazines, rock sample bags, environmental sample containers, and the portable magnetometer with its sensor and tripod. It was carried on Apollo 14 and planned to be used on Apollo 15, but was used only on Apollo 14, since Apollo 15's mission was changed to be the first to employ the motorized Lunar Roving Vehicle, which transported both astronauts and equipment.
Astronauts nicknamed the MET "the rickshaw". It was pulled using a pulling bar in the front. The majority of the payload of the MET consisted of the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP). The performance of the MET was described as "adequate". In fact, astronauts Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell were disappointed by the MET's performance. During one of the traverses they had to carry the MET together because it was too difficult to pull the MET through the rough lunar terrain.Pete Conrad
Charles "Pete" Conrad Jr. (June 2, 1930 – July 8, 1999), (Captain, USN), was an American NASA astronaut, aeronautical engineer, naval officer and aviator, test pilot, and during the Apollo 12 mission became the third man to walk on the Moon. Conrad was selected in NASA's second astronaut class.
He set an eight-day space endurance record along with his Command Pilot Gordon Cooper on his first spaceflight, the Gemini 5 mission. Conrad also commanded the Gemini 11 mission. He became the third human to walk on the moon during the Apollo 12 mission. After Apollo, he commanded Skylab 2, the first crewed Skylab mission. On the mission, he and his crewmates repaired significant launch damage to the Skylab space station. For this, President Jimmy Carter awarded him the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978.
After he retired from NASA in 1973, he became a vice president of American Television and Communications Company. He went on to work for McDonnell Douglas, as a vice president. During his tenure, he served as vice president of marketing, senior vice president of marketing, staff vice president of international business development, and vice president of project development.
Conrad died on July 8, 1999, from internal injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.Pioneer West Museum
The Pioneer West Museum, which highlights a diversity of West Texas exhibits, is housed on two floors of the former Reynolds Hotel in Shamrock in Wheeler County, Texas. The hotel was mostly occupied by traveling salesmen during its heyday in the 1920s and 1930s. The exhibits are spread over twenty of the former hotel rooms.The museum focuses on the culture of the Great Plains Indians and even the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Apollo XII Moon mission in which Alan Bean, a native of Wheeler, was an astronaut. There are cowboy exhibits, pioneer weapons, a look at the nearby former United States Army base Fort Elliot as well as farm and ranch artifacts. On display are doctor and dentist offices, a general store, pioneer kitchen, schoolroom, and elegant parlor. Located at 204 North Madden Street just east of U.S. Highway 83, the museum is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to Noon and 1 to 3 p.m.R. L. Paschal High School
R. L. Paschal High School is a secondary school located in Fort Worth, Texas, United States. It is part of the Fort Worth Independent School District and descendant of the city's first secondary school, Fort Worth High School, which opened in 1882. Robert Lee Paschal, an attorney from North Carolina, became principal in 1906. Briefly known as Central High School, it moved to its current location on Forest Park Boulevard in 1955.
Historically, it has had a strong academic and sports presence in the city. For example, in 2006-2007, Paschal produced 18 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists, which was not only more than any other high school in the Fort Worth Independent School District, but also more than the entire Dallas Independent School District (10).
For the 2007–2008 school year, it has 24 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists.It is the only high school represented by a flag on the moon, planted there by astronaut Alan Bean, class of 1950, on the Apollo 12 mission (1969).
Paschal High School achieved a degree of notoriety in 1985, when a gang called "Legion of Doom" was active at the school.Rocket Science (miniseries)
Rocket Science is a miniseries first released in 2002-2003, chronicling the major events in the American/Soviet space race, starting from the first hypersonic rocket planes through the development of human space flight, culminating with the mission by mission history of Projects Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. The series features interviews with X-1 and X-15 pilots Chuck Yeager and Scott Crossfield, astronauts Gordon Cooper, Wally Schirra, Scott Carpenter, Gene Cernan, Frank Borman, James Lovell, Buzz Aldrin and Alan Bean, flight controllers Gene Kranz, Christopher Kraft and Sy Liebergot, authors Arthur C. Clarke, Andrew Chaikin, Robert Godwin and Robert J. Sawyer, and broadcaster Walter Cronkite, among others. While focusing mainly on the American side of the race, the series also covered major Soviet achievements through every key phase of the 1950s and 60s Space Race.
The series was produced, written and directed by Canadian filmmaker Michael Lennick for The Discovery Channel (Canada), and narrated by actor Graham Greene. Music was composed by Eric Robertson. Lennick filmed a pilot episode named "The Highest Step" about the high-altitude balloon flights of Project Manhigh and the rocket sled tests of Colonel John Paul Stapp.
The series was released in 2004 in DVD-video format as a three-disc box set with total running time of 540 minutes. The box set did not include the pilot episode.
Due to contractual restrictions the series was never aired in the United States.The Leslie Cantwell Collection
Leslie Cantwell (born October 1946) is a UK Space Historian renowned for his extensive knowledge of the Apollo Space programme and space-related artifacts. He has written numerous articles on the subject and is probably best known for his extensive collection of original memorabilia including his collection of large-format images signed by most of the Apollo astronauts.
For a while he acted as an advisor to the London Science Museum Space Department regarding the Apollo 10 Command Service Module better known as Charlie Brown, currently on and has written various articles on the subject of space travel and space art, particularly that of Apollo 12 moonwalker, Alan Bean.
The London exhibitions of his large-format Apollo mission images captured the interest of many new devotees of the Apollo programme, and a large collection of his work is currently on display at the Kansas Cosmosphere, Hutchinson, Kansas.The Wonder of It All (2007 film)
The Wonder of It All is a 2007 documentary directed by Jeffrey Roth and distributed by Indican Pictures.The film is composed of first-person interviews with seven of the 12 Apollo astronauts who walked on the moon (Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Edgar Mitchell, John Young, Charlie Duke, Eugene Cernan, and Harrison Schmitt). The astronauts explain their backgrounds, their moon missions, and how walking on the moon changed their lives.