Alan Bean

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Alan LaVern Bean (born March 15, 1932) is a former NASA astronaut, engineer, and painter. Bean 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 the age of thirty-seven years in November 1969. During this mission, Bean became the fourth human to walk on the Moon. He made his second and final flight into space before retiring aboard Skylab 3 in 1973, the second manned mission to the Skylab space station. After retiring from the United States Navy in 1975 and NASA in 1981, Bean 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.


Early life

Bean was born in Wheeler, the seat of Wheeler County in the northeastern Texas Panhandle. He is 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 graduated from R. L. Paschal High School in Fort Worth, Texas. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1955. At UT he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (Omega Chi chapter). After a four year tour as a fighter pilot assigned to a jet attack squadron in Jacksonville, Fla.,[1] he trained as a Navy Test Pilot where his instructor was his future Apollo 12 Commander Pete Conrad. He 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.

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