Alan Bean was born in 1932 in Texas, and he lived an incredible life as an accomplished astronaut and, in later years, a praised artist.

The Passing Of Alan Bean

On May 26, Bean passed away at the age of 26. He died in Houston Methodist Hospital surrounded by loved ones. He first fell ill two weeks ago while traveling to Indiana.

"Alan was the strongest and kindest man I ever knew. He was the love of my life and I miss him dearly," said Leslie Bean, his wife, in a press release. "A native Texan, Alan died peacefully in Houston surrounded by those who loved him."

Bean was one of only 12 astronauts to walk on the moon. He made two trips into space: the first for Apollo 12 in 1969 and the last for the Skylab 3 mission in 1973.

Fellow astronaut Walt Cunningham, who flew on Apollo 7, remained friends with Bean until his passing.

"For years, Alan and I never missed a month where we did not have a cheeseburger together at Miller's Café in Houston," said Cunningham."We are accustomed to losing friends in our business but this is a tough one."

Accomplishments As An Astronaut

Bean's career at NASA launched when he joined as a trainee in October 1963.

In 1969's Apollo 12, which was the second moon landing mission, he served as the lunar module pilot. After landing on the moon's Ocean of Storms, Bean stepped out of the vehicle and became the fourth person to walk on the moon. During the mission, Bean and his team installed the moon's first nuclear-powered generator station and collected lunar soil for research.

Four years later, Bean served as a commander during the Skyland 3 mission. He spent 59 days in Skylab, which was a record at the time. Bean and the astronauts photographed the sun and generated 18 miles of computer tape about surveys of resources on Earth.

Bean's Artistic Career

In the decades following his career with NASA, Bean became an artist. He specialized in Apollo-themed artwork that was heavily based on his personal experiences in NASA. Bean's work captured a visual story about humanity's first exploration in space.

Bean would also ask his fellow astronauts for details about their lunar experiments so that he could accurately portray it in his paintings.

"His enthusiasm about space and art never waned. Alan Bean is one of the great renaissance men of his generation — engineer, fighter pilot, astronaut, and artist," said astronaut Harrison Schmitt.

Bean's artwork would appear in galleries and exhibits about space exploration. People paid tens of thousands of dollars for his artwork.

"Our generation will be remembered for many achievements, and one of the greatest will be our movement off the Earth, from its gravitational pull, to begin our future generations' exploration of the universe," Bean wrote on his website. "My paintings record the beginnings of a quest never to end, our journey out among the stars."

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