Alan Bean was one of the third group of astronauts named by NASA in October 1963. He served as a backup astronaut for the Gemini 10 and Apollo 9 missions. He was the fourth man to walk on the moon as lunar module pilot on Apollo 12, man’s second lunar landing. In November 1969, he landed in the moon’s Ocean of Storms—after a flight of some 250,000 miles. Captain Bean was spacecraft commander of Skylab Mission II (SL-3), July 29 to September 25, 1973. Mission II accomplished 150% of its pre-mission forecast goals.
On his next assignment, Captain Bean was backup spacecraft commander of the United States flight crew for the joint American-Russian Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. He has logged 1,671 hours and 45 minutes in space—of which 10 hours and 26 minutes were spent in EVAs on the moon and in earth orbit. Captain Bean has flown 27 types of military aircraft as well as many civilian airplanes. He has logged more than 7,145 hours flying time—including 4,890 hours in jet aircraft. Captain Bean retired from the Navy in October 1975 but continued as head of the Astronaut Candidate Operations and Training Group within the Astronaut Office in a civilian capacity.
After retiring in 1981, Captain Bean became a professional artist. His paintings were featured in an exhibit at the LBJ Library and Museum at the University of Texas in the Fall of 2008.
Article courtesy NASA and The Daily Texan