NASA’s Moonwalkers — Alan Bean

3 min readJul 28, 2022

Alan Bean is a former NASA astronaut who during the Apollo 12 mission, became the fourth man to walk on the Moon. Later in life, he drew inspiration from his experiences in space to become a professional artist.

Visit the Moon Metaverse globe where you can locate and own land close to the Moon’s most historically significant landmarks. This includes the Ocean of Storms, the landing site of Apollo 12 — Alan Bean’s first mission to the Moon!

Like many of his fellow astronauts, Bean started out in the US Navy where he logged 7,154 hours of flight time. It wasn’t long before he was onto bigger and better things!

Selected by NASA as part of Astronaut Group 3, Bean was initially selected to be the backup command pilot for Gemini 10. When his fellow astronaut Clifton Williams tragically lost his life in an aircraft crash, a space opened up for him on the backup crew of Apollo 9.

Bean’s next achievement arrived when he joined the Apollo 12 crew. It was soon to be followed by his biggest, when in November 1969 he became the fourth man to set foot on the Moon, following his Mission Commander, Pete Conrad.

Together they explored the lunar surface, setting up experiments and installing the first nuclear generator on the Moon in the process.

Bean concluded his career as an astronaut with 1,671 hours and 45 minutes in space. Of this time, ten hours and 26 minutes were spent on extravehicular activities.

After resigning from NASA in 1981, Bean took the opportunity to develop a new passion — painting! After 18 years as an astronaut, he had been fortunate enough to experience views that no other artist had ever seen with their own eyes.

Bean’s paintings are notable for his decision to add color to the lunar landscape. Amazingly, he was able to use real Moon dust in his work. Taking things one step further he began to add tiny touches of his mission patches to his canvas’ and made use of a hammer he had used on the Moon to add further texture to his paintings.

Since passing away in 2018, Bean remains the only astronaut to have pursued a career as an artist. Truly a unique individual who created some amazing work celebrating NASA’s greatest missions!

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