Alan Bean

Alan LaVern Bean ( born March 15, 1932 in Wheeler, Texas ) is a former American astronaut. He was the fourth man on the moon.

Start of career

Alan Bean made ​​his secondary education at the Paschal High School in Fort Worth ( Texas). He then studied at the University of Texas in 1955 and received the engineering degree in the field of aeronautical engineering. In the same year he joined the U.S. Navy at, earned his pilot's license and an attack squadron in Jacksonville ( Florida) was assigned. After four years of service, he attended the Test Pilot School of Marine and finally cooperated with the testing of new aircraft types.


Bean applied at NASA for the second astronaut group but was not accepted. In the next application he had more success and was presented on 17 October 1963 by NASA along with 13 other candidates to the public.


As of February 1965 Bean took over in the Gemini program as a specialty recovery systems of the spaceships. In December 1965, he worked out for the flights of Gemini 7 and Gemini 6 as connecting speaker ( Capcom ) from Cape Canaveral.

Tragically, it was the death of two astronaut colleague who was advancing beans career. Elliott See and Charles Bassett arrived on February 28, 1966 in a plane crash killed and Alan Bean was one of the seven-member commission to investigate the cause of the crash. See and Bassett were provided for Gemini 9, so that there were shifts in the team assignments, which Bean was assigned as a replacement commander of Gemini 10. Although he had no experience in space, Bean was thus the first astronaut of the third selection group, which was nominated for a command.

For the flight of Gemini 11 in September 1966, he again worked as a speaker connection, this time of the flight control center in Houston from.

Apollo Application Program

Following the Gemini program Bean was the Apollo Applications Program allocated. The department was to investigate alongside the moon landings even more uses for the Apollo spacecraft and Saturn rockets. The only project that was later realized thereof, was the Skylab space station.


Even with Beans second division as a substitute preceded the death of a colleague. Clifton Williams was classified as a replacement pilot for the Lunar Module of the second Apollo mission, but died in a plane crash on October 5, 1967 followed by the replacement commander Charles Conrad began that Bean should move the team. So Bean was substitute for the first use of a pilot for the Lunar Module.

This was originally planned as the second manned Apollo flight, called Apollo 8, so that Conrad, Gordon and Bean could hope to get are classified as the main team for Apollo 11, which was the earliest attempt at a moon landing. By rescheduling the flights of the lunar module test, however, was to Apollo 9 After their successful flight in March 1969, Conrad, Gordon and Bean appointed as expected to the main crew of Apollo 12 on 10 April 1969. Bean was now the only astronaut of the third group selection without use in space.

At the start of the Apollo 12 rocket was struck by lightning, resulting in the loss of all telemetry data. John Aaron, a young employee in the fly line left and align it using the Capcom the prompt " SCE to AUX". Bean was the only one who understood this unusual command, turned off the data treatment plant SCE to emergency mode (AUX) and set so that the telemetry transmission restores.

On 19 November 1969 Alan Bean, the fourth man entered the moon, where he set up a nuclear battery for energy for various experiments and participated in operation. He held a total of 7 hours and 45 minutes out of the Lunar Module " Intrepid ".

Alan Beans second space mission was in command of the mission Skylab 3 Here he asked with his colleagues Owen Garriott and Jack Lousma between 29 July and 25 September 1973, 59 days a new long-term world record, the broken, however, shortly afterwards of Skylab 4 re- been.

For the Apollo -Soyuz project in July 1975 Bean was classified as a replacement commander, but did not play.

Manager activity

In October 1975 Alan Bean joined the rank of naval captain from ( 'Captain ') from the services of the U.S. Navy, but remained the Astronaut Training Group as their civilian boss received. On February 26, 1981, he also joined the back of NASA services.

Career as an artist

During his time as a test pilot to Bean pursued painting. After retiring from NASA, he made this hobby into a career. To this end, he has a small studio in Houston built. Many of his works, which deal mostly with space travel and the stay on the moon, can be seen on the internet.


Alan Bean is divorced and has a son and a daughter.