Alan Bean (b. March 15, 1932) former NASA Astronaut.
He graduated from Paschal High School in Fort Worth, Texas; received a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Texas in 1955 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.
Captain Bean was lunar module pilot on Apollo 12, the second lunar landing. In November 1969, Captain Bean and Captain Pete Conrad landed in the moon's Ocean of Storms—after a flight of 250,000 miles. They explored the lunar surface, deployed several lunar surface experiments, and installed the first nuclear power generator station on the moon to provide the power source. Captain Richard Gordon remained in lunar orbit photographing landing sites for future missions.
Captain Bean was spacecraft commander of the Skylab Mission II (SL-3), July 29 to September 25, 1973. With him on the 59-day, 24,400,000 mile world record setting flight were scientist-astronaut Dr. Owen Garriott and Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Jack Lousma.
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.
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.
Bean resigned from NASA in June 1981 to devote his full time to painting. He said his decision was based on the fact that, in his 18 years as an astronaut, he was fortunate enough to visit worlds and see sights no artist's eye, past or present, has ever viewed firsthand and he hopes to express these experiences through the medium of art. He is pursuing this dream at his home and studio in Houston.
He is married and has two grown children, a son and a daughter.