During his 18-year NASA career, Alan Bean achieved a number of accomplishments, including being the Lunar Module Pilot on the Apollo 12 mission and commander of the Skylab Mission II.
Alan was born in Wheeler, Texas, in 1932. He graduated from Paschal High School in 1950 where, in his last year, he was selected for a NROTC Scholarship at the University of Texas, Austin. He was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in 1955 and commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy.
He completed flight training and was awarded Naval Aviator wings the following year, and was assigned to Jet Attack Squadron 44 in Jacksonville, Florida. In 1960, he was selected for Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Maryland. After his schooling was completed in 1969, he was assigned to the Service Test Division of the Naval Air Test Center. Alan spent three exciting years as a test pilot flying almost every type of plane in Navy service. His interest in art drove him to enroll in night art classes at nearby St. Mary's College.
In 1963, Alan was selected as a NASA astronaut. He became the Lunar Module Pilot on the Apollo 12 mission, and the fourth man to set foot on the moon.
In 1973, he again flew in space as spacecraft commander of the Skylab Mission II. This mission lasted fifty-nine days and traveled 24,400,000 miles. His crew accomplished 150 percent of their pre-mission goals, a record unequaled even today. Alan was then selected as backup spacecraft commander for the joint American-Russian Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in 1975. Alan was assigned as Chief of Operations and Training and Acting Chief Astronaut until the first flight of the space shuttle.
Throughout Alan's career as an astronaut when he was not in specific mission training, Alan studied art at nights and on the weekends. In 1981, he resigned as a NASA astronaut to devote full time to painting and speaking.
While at NASA, Alan helped establish eleven world records in space and astronautics. His numerous awards include two NASA Distinguished Service Medals and two Navy Distinguished Service Medals.
Today, Alan is an accomplished artist creating paintings that artistically record for future generations humankind's first exploration of another world.