Apollo moonwalker, artist Alan Bean dies at age 86 in Houston

NASA shared the following obituary on behalf of former astronaut Alan Bean's family:

On the Skylab mission, Bean orbited the Earth for 59 days. He spent a total of 69 days in space, including 31 hours on the moon.

Born on March 15, 1932, in Wheeler, Texas, Bean received a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Texas in 1955. He attended the Navy Test Pilot School and was one of 14 trainees selected by NASA for its third group of astronauts in October 1963.

"I'd always wanted to be a pilot, ever since I could remember," said Bean in the 1998 NASA oral history. "I think a lot of it just had to do with it looked exciting. It looked like brave people did that. I wanted to be brave, even though I wasn't brave at the time. I thought maybe I could learn to be, so that appealed to me."

"As all great explorers are, Alan was a boundary pusher," said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a statement that credited Bean with being part of 11 world records in the areas of space and aeronautics. "We will remember him fondly as the great explorer who reached out to embrace the universe."

"Alan Bean was the most extraordinary person I ever met," said astronaut Mike Massimino, who flew on two space shuttle missions to service the Hubble Space Telescope, in a statement. "He was a one-of-a-kind combination of technical achievement as an astronaut and artistic achievement as a painter."

Associated Press Science Writer Seth Borenstein contributed to this article.