Apollo moonwalker Alan Bean to present 'Insider's View of Space Exploration'
Alan Bean was the lunar module pilot during NASA's Apollo 12 mission. He is the fourth astronaut to have walked on the moon, a feat achieved by only a dozen space explorers.
Today, Alan Bean is an artist who paints scenes of space exploration.
Detail from Alan Bean's painting "Rock and Roll on the Ocean of Storms." Bean adds such signature textures as footprints using the sole of a lunar boot replica and pick marks from a geology hammer he used to plant the U.S. flag on the moon.


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1:23 p.m., Sept. 28, 2010----Only 12 astronauts have walked on the moon -- and you have the opportunity to spend the evening with one of them soon at the University of Delaware.

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Alan Bean, former NASA Apollo astronaut and engineer, will share his adventures and what he foresees for the future of space exploration on Wednesday, Oct. 20, starting at 7:30 p.m., at the University's Clayton Hall Conference Center on the Laird Campus in Newark.

Bean's talk on “An Insider's View of Space Exploration” -- this year's Harcourt C. “Ace” Vernon Memorial Lecture -- promises to be filled with fascinating observations from an explorer who actually walked on Earth's next-door neighbor, nearly 239,000 miles away.

In November 1969, Bean was the lunar module pilot on Apollo 12 -- the second landing mission on the moon. He became the fourth man to walk on the lunar surface when he set foot in the area known as the Ocean of Storms.

During two moonwalks, Bean and fellow astronaut Pete Conrad deployed scientific experiments and collected rocks and soil samples. They also visited the unmanned Surveyor III spacecraft that had landed in a nearby crater more than two years earlier and removed parts of it to bring back to Earth for analysis.

Bean also served as spacecraft commander of Skylab Mission II, during which he and his crew lived 59 days in space. The flight set a world record at 24.4 million miles.

In 1981, Bean concluded that there were other pilots who could navigate future space exploration, but that he was “the only one around who could record it in another way” -- through artistic paintings.

Thus, Bean began a career as a full-time artist in Houston, Texas, a passion he continues to pursue today.

Bean paints moonscapes with acrylics and adds such signature textures as footprints using the sole of a lunar boot replica, pick marks from a geology hammer he used to plant the U.S. flag on the moon, and bits of foil from the command module or small pieces of the U.S. flag from his mission patches. He also incorporates moondust from his spacesuit into his works.

Some of Bean's artwork will be displayed in a slideshow before the lecture begins.

The lecture is free and open to the public. As seating is limited, advance registration is advised. Register online at this website, or send an email to [tholton@udel.edu]. The talk also will be webcast live and simulcast into UD Second Life.

The presentation, the 2010 Harcourt C. “Ace” Vernon Memorial Lecture, is sponsored by the Mt. Cuba Astronomical Observatory and UD's Delaware Asteroseismic Research Center. Vernon (1907-1978) was one of the founders and the first chairman of the board of trustees of Mt. Cuba Observatory in Greenville, Del.

Article by Tracey Bryant