Alan Bean, Apollo 12 lunar module pilot, Skylab mission II commander, Apollo-Soyuz Test Project backup commander, backup astronaut for the Gemini 10 and Apollo 9 missions and eventually head of the astronaut candidate operations and training group within NASA's astronaut office, spoke exclusively to Flightglobal.com about his time as an astronaut at the Autographica event in London on 12 October.
A member of the third group of astronauts named by NASA in October 1963 he became lunar module pilot for what was the second Moon landing in November 1969. He and mission commander Pete Conrad explored the ocean of storms, deployed several surface experiments and installed the first nuclear power generator station on the Moon. Richard Gordon, the mission's command module pilot, remained in lunar orbit photographing landing sites for future missions.
As Skylab mission II commander, from 29 July to 25 September 1973, Bean spent 59-days in Earth orbit with scientist-astronaut Owen Garriott and Marine corps Lt Col Jack Lousma.