Member of Nasa’s Apollo 12 mission who was the fourth person to walk on the moon
The astronaut Alan Bean, a member of Nasa’s Apollo 12 mission, who has died aged 86, was the fourth person to step on to the surface of the moon, and the only one to go on to depict the view from outer space in paintings. His fellow astronaut John Glenn described Bean’s work as seeing “the same monochromatic world as [we did] … yet with an artist’s eye he also saw intrinsic beauty”.
Apollo 12, commanded by Pete Conrad, was launched in November 1969, only four months after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin had first stepped on to the moon’s surface from the Apollo 11 lunar module. The Apollo 12 astronauts set up a nuclear generator in the Ocean of Storms to provide a power source; Bean, of Scottish descent on his father’s side, carried a piece of MacBean tartan with him. He gathered many samples of rocks and lunar soil, including a green stone he described as “ginger ale bottle glass” – geologists later identified it as the mineral olivine.