An Astronaut’s Journey, by Alan Bean

A few years back, just after ‘N Sync singer Lance Bass was denied (denied!) his chance to fly to the International Space Station aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket, I was lamenting to a close friend that NASA should really budget to send musicians, writers, and painters into orbit, so that they could create art relating to the experience. Hours later I got an email from my friend’s little sister, a Space Camp alumna, pointing me to the works of the fourth man to walk on the moon, Apollo 12 lunar module commander Alan Bean, who has made a post-NASA career as a painter. Given the nearly monochrome appearance of the lunar surface, his moon paintings are really quite colorful; the ones I like best usually have bootprints and crater-rings pressed into the impasto. Not exactly the best artist, but probably the best to have walked on the moon thus far.


An Astronaut’s Journey (Jack Schmitt in motion),” (14×21 in., textured acrylic with moondust on aircraft plywood, 2003) by Alan Bean,

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