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A Fire To Be Lighted

A Fire To Be Lighted



“The Falcon is on the Plain at Hadley.” These were the first words heard back on Earth when Dave Scott and Jim Irwin made their landing in July 1971. Falcon had alighted them on a scientific bonanza.As Dave looked around from Falcon’s overhead hatch, he thought, “No place on Earth has such a concentration of features.”There were mountains taller than Everest (relative to their surroundings) and a meandering gorge a mile across, a thousand feet deep and seventy miles long. Lunar exploration had come a long way since Neil and Buzz made their first moonwalk just two years earlier. Dave and Jim had the lunar rover, a moon car that would make possible five times the total surface exploration of the three previous missions combined; and they had improved space suit backpacks which allowed them to stay outside their spacecraft nearly twice as long as any of us who had flown earlier. I have painted Dave Scott, a good friend and skilled explorer, at the pinnacle of his astronaut career. In his own words, “We went to the Moon as trained observers in order to gather data, not only with our instruments on board, but also with our minds. Plutarch, a wise man who lived a long time ago, expressed the feelings of the crew of Apollo 15 when he wrote ‘the mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be lighted.’”

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A Giant Leap





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A Jewel In The Heavens



“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”

John F Kennedy, September 12, 1962



Astronaut and artist Alan Bean is not only the first artist to paint a world other than our Earth who actually went there, he is the first in history to paint our Earth after viewing it from space. His art’s significance as the original human interpretative record of man’s first off-world experience will only increase in its importance and value over time.



Those of us who were lucky enough to be alive during the Apollo program look at Bean’s art and share the stirring of emotion, pride, and the sense of awe that we experienced as we lived through the fulfillment of President Kennedy’s challenge. The whole world (the artist’s “fellow earthlings”) can now look up at the moon in the night’s sky and know that human beings were once there looking back at us.



“Over the years I changed my profession from NASA astronaut to space artist,” says Alan Bean. “I have created several paintings of earth and in the years since the Apollo 12 mission, my astronaut eyes have gradually been replaced with artist eyes. I now see the Earth in my mind’s eye as much brighter than recorded by our cameras,” he says about A Jewel in the Heavens, “and I paint the Earth in bolder colors now.” This Fine Art Giclee Canvas not only takes us off this Earth to look back upon it in the company of an Apollo astronaut, it is a ticket back to one of the most fulfilling times in our lives.

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A Most Beautiful Moon



“I began several studies a number of years ago to record my memories of seeing the moon close up. Years later I decided to rework some of the studies as color exercises. With A Most Beautiful Moon, I tried to retain some of the reflected-earth light-shadow effect while adding other earth colors. I’m spending most of my time recording an event that will never happen again in our history: humankind’s first visit to another world.”

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A New Frontier





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A Window On The End Of An Era





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America's Team Just Beg. 25Th

America's Team Just Beg. 25Th





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America's Team...Just The Beginning





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An American Success Story

An American Success Story



“An American Success Story shows Astronaut John Young in April of 1972 as he stood proudly on the moon,” says artist Alan Bean,“but for a while, it didn’t look like he and Charlie Duke would even land. Orbiting the moon in their lunar module preparing for descent, a call came reporting an oscillation in the backup steering system.They knew that this might force them to return to earth as soon as possible. If the systems failed, the Apollo 16 and her crew would orbit the moon forever. Immediately, mission control was alerted. Could they determine if oscillations would prevent the backup steering system from doing its job? Records were searched and tests conducted, in less than six hours the results were in: the mission could continue.We all breathed a collective sigh of relief. John Young would say later,“It was a cliff-hanger, but the ground crew really came through, putting us right back in the ball game.”

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Armstrong, Aldrin, And An American Eagle



Apollo 11’s lunar module, Eagle, with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin aboard, is just about to touch down on the Sea of Tranquility, July 20, 1969. The descent engine is firing in order to slow the descent rate to ensure a gentle landing as Armstrong searches for a level area on the surface of the moon.

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Beyond A Young Boy´S Dream



“When I was a boy, I dreamed of flying airplanes and I built models from balsa wood,” says artist Alan Bean. “By the time I was in high school, model airplanes of all shapes and sizes were hanging by thin wires from the ceiling of my room. Airplanes were the last things I would see before falling asleep at night. I dreamed of flying higher than the highest cloud and faster than the fastest wind. As I grew older, the dream grew stronger. It followed me as I completed flight training, became a jet pilot flying off aircraft carriers and when, as a test pilot and then as an astronaut, I trained to rocket to the Moon. And in my painting, as I look out over the ‘magnificent desolation’ of the lunar surface, youngsters on Earth are building model rockets, dreaming of flying higher than the Moon and faster than a shooting star.”

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Conrad Gordon And Bean The Fantasy

Conrad Gordon And Bean The Fantasy





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Feelin' Fine

Feelin' Fine



“This relaxed, impressionist astronaut image is one of my favorites,” says Bean. “I felt just like this so many times on the moon—even though I didn’t have time to stop and ‘assume the position.’ I think it takes a certain attitude of cockiness to be an astronaut, and it’s hard to show those emotions when I am behind the gold visors.”

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Fender Lovin´ Care



Apollo 17 Astronauts Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt are doing some “low-tech” body work on their high-tech Lunar Rover. During their first moonwalk Gene accidentally hooked the hammer he carried in his right leg pocket onto the Rover’s right rear fender extension, knocking it off. He fixed it temporarily by taping it on with duct tape. Unfortunately, somewhere on their lunar drive the tape gave way and the fender extension fell off and was lost for good.



Losing a part of a fender, a minor problem on planet earth, is a serious one in the light gravity of the moon. Gene would report, “Oh, it pretty near makes me sick at losing that fender. With the loss of any of the fender extension the dust generated by the wheels is intolerable. Not just the crew gets dusty, but everything mechanical on the Rover is subject to dust. I think dust is probably one of our greatest inhibitors to a normal operation on the moon.”



Back on planet earth, Astronaut John Young and other friends in mission control conceived a nifty repair. After wake-up the next morning, Gene and Jack would select four plasticized maps already used on the mission and tape them together. Back with the Rover on the surface that morning, they could continue with the repair. I painted Gene and Jack aligning the maps to the fiberglass fender. When Gene is satisfied, Jack will hold the maps steady as Gene secures them using two small clamps normally used to mount auxiliary lights inside the lunar module cabin. The fix worked!

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First Artist On Another World





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Heavenly Reflections



"I have painted Pete Conrad and myself 239,000 miles from Earth during the Apollo XII mission, standing on the Ocean of Storms, looking homeward. Pete and I had come a long way together. He is the best astronaut I have ever known. As we looked up, the sky was a deep shiny black. As I touched Pete´s shoulder I thought, can all the people we know or have seen or heard about actually be up on that tiny blue and white marble? It was a wondrous moment."

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Hello Universe

Hello Universe



“Here we are, humans of planet Earth, standing on our only moon. Getting there wasn’t easy; in fact, it took about four hundred thousand of us giving our best efforts. None could do it alone but together we found a way to achieve this seemingly impossible dream. When the time is right, we will be ready to continue our noble quest to expand humanity’s reach. Our children and our children’s children will have to continue the search, each succeeding generation moving a little farther out, discovering more answers and even greater questions. The Universe awaits our audacious human spirit. Be patient...we are coming.” Countersigned by Eugene A. Cernan and Edgar D. Mitchell.

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Helping Hands

Helping Hands





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Homeward Bound



On Christmas morning of 1968, Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders completed their tenth lunar orbit in man´s first trip to the moon. With the burn of the service module engine just completed on the back side of the moon, these men are homeward bound. PROJECT APOLLO! Man´s triumphant travel to, and safe return from, the moon remains one of the 20th century´s most significant accomplishments. And, in the tradition of frontier artist-explorers Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell, fine artist-astronaut-moonwalker Alan Bean was there!

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Houston We Have A Problem

Houston We Have A Problem





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