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Bean also commanded the second crewed flight to the first United States space station Skylab in July 1973.

"I wanted to be courageous, even though I wasn't fearless at the time".

On his retirement from NASA in 1981 he started turning out works that incorporated moon dust and Apollo memorabilia in the paintings. He was a Navy Test Pilot School graduate and had 5,500 hours in 27 different aircraft types.

Working at his home in Houston, Bean created paintings that focussed on the Apollo missions, with images of himself and other astronauts on the moon rendered with the authenticity in lighting and colour that only an eyewitness could provide.

In his 1998 book, Apollo, Bean discussed his inspirations and goals as a painter by writing, "You know, people romanticize the moon".

In a statement on Bean's passing, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said that the astronaut always pushed the boundaries: "In 1973, Alan commanded the Skylab Mission II and broke a world record with a 59-day flight traversing 24.4 million miles".

In this July 15, 2009 file photo, Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean walks through the largest exhibition of his artwork to date, inspired by his experience walking on the moon, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first Apollo moon landing, in Washington.




After his Apollo mission, Bean commanded the second crewed mission the first USA space station, Skylab, in 1973, during which he orbited the earth for 59 days.

With Bean's death, only four moonwalkers are still alive - Buzz Aldrin, Dave Scott, Charlie Duke and Harrison "Jack" Schmitt.

Born on March 15, 1932, in Wheeler, Texas, Bean received a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Texas in 1955.

"When I became head of the Skylab Branch of the Astronaut Office, we worked together and Alan eventually commanded the second Skylab mission".

Bean spent 31 hours on the moon, collecting samples and deploying several experiments with mission commander Charles "Pete" Conrad Jr. "I think a lot of it just had to do with it looked exciting". For more than four decades after his space career, he chronicled the six missions that landed on the moon.

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.


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