Alan L. BeanAlan L. Bean was born in Wheeler, Texas, on March 15, 1932.
Bean graduated from Paschal High School in Fort Worth, Texas then received a bachelor of science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Texas in 1955.
Bean was commissioned into the US Navy upon graduation in 1955. After completing flight training, he was assigned to a jet attack squadron in Jacksonville, Florida. After a four-year tour of duty, he attended the Navy Test Pilot School, then as a test pilot flew several types of naval aircraft.
In 1963, Bean was a member of the third group of astronauts named by NASA. He served as backup astronaut for the Gemini 10 and Apollo 9 missions.
Bean was lunar module pilot on Apollo 12, man's second lunar landing. In November, 1969, Bean and Pete Conrad landed in the moon's Ocean of Storms after a flight of some 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. Richard Gordon remained in lunar orbit photographing landing sites for future missions.
Bean was spacecraft commander of Skylab Mission II (SL-3), July 28 - September 25, 1973. With him on the 59-day, 24,400,000-mile, world record setting flight were scientist-astronaut Dr. Owen K. Garriott and Marine Corps Lt. Colonel Jack R. Lousma. Mission II accomplished 150% of its premission forecast goals.
On his next assignment, Bean was backup spacecraft commander of the United States flight crew for the joint American-Russian Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.
Alan Bean 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. He 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. 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.