He was an astronaut on the second manned mission to the moon and the fourth man to walk on its surface.
Alan Bean, 85, is one of only 12 people to have taken “one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind” on the moon.
The lunar module pilot was one of three crew members onboard Apollo 12 who walked on the moon 10 days after it launched on Nov. 14, 1969.
The crew’s primary mission objectives included an extensive series of lunar exploration tasks by the lunar module and the deployment of the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package to be left on the moon’s surface to gather seismic, scientific and engineering data.
Bean has logged 1,671 hours and 45 minutes in space — 10 hours and 26 minutes of that were spent on the moon and in Earth’s orbit.
His experiences in space have led Bean to develop some interesting theories about the possibility of alien life.
“I do not believe that anyone from outer space has ever visited the Earth,” Bean told news.com.au from his home in Houston, Texas.
“One of the reasons I don’t believe they have been here is that civilizations that are more advanced are more altruistic and friendly — like Earth, which is better than it used to be — so they would have landed and said, ‘We come in peace and we know from our studies you have cancer that kills people, we solved that problem 50 years ago, here’s the gadget we put on a person’s chest that will cure it, we will show you how to make it.’”
“Just like some day, say 1,000 years from now, when we can go to another star and see a planet, that’s what we would do because we will know how to cure cancer, cure birth defects, so we would teach them.”