Alan Bean, Don Peterson Honored in Spaceport Ceremonies

Alan Bean and Don Peterson Honored
Inside the Apollo-Saturn V Center at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on Wednesday, May 30, 2018, Center Director Bob Cabana speaks to guests in the photo on the left, honoring the memory of former NASA astronaut Alan Bean who died on May 26, at the age of 86. Later that day, on the right, former space shuttle astronaut Don Peterson was remembered in the Atlantis exhibit. He passed away May 27, 2018. Peterson was 84.
Photo credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky, left photo, NASA/Leif Heimbold, right photo

Two veteran NASA astronauts, who recently passed away, were honored May 30, 2018, in separate wreath laying ceremonies at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Alan Bean, who flew during the Apollo and Skylab programs, was remembered in a ceremony at the Apollo-Saturn V Center. Space shuttle astronaut Don Peterson was honored at the Atlantis exhibit.

Alan Bean Deploys the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package
Apollo 12 lunar module pilot Alan Bean deploys components of the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package during the first Apollo 12 moonwalk.
Photo credit: NASA/Pete Conrad

Bean was the fourth person to walk on the Moon as lunar module pilot on Apollo 12 in November 1969. He went on to command the 59-day Skylab 3 mission in 1973.

After his retirement from NASA, Bean became an accomplished artist capturing spaceflight from the eyes of one who has flown in space and walked on the lunar surface, He died in Houston on May 26, 2018, at the age of 86.

A large mural of a painting by Alan Bean
Backdropped by a large mural of a painting by Alan Bean, Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana speaks to guests gathered to remember the Apollo and Skylab astronaut. After leaving NASA, Bean became an accomplished artist creating paintings to capture his view of humankind’s first exploration of other worlds.
Photo credit: NASA

“After logging 1,671 hours and 45 minutes in space, Alan passed the baton to the next generation of astronauts and changed fronts, looking to push the boundaries of his own imagination and ability as an artist,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a statement. “We will remember him fondly as the great explorer who reached out to embrace the universe.”

Peterson originally was selected for the U.S. Air Force Manned Orbiting Laboratory program, but when that was cancelled, he became a NASA astronaut in September 1969. He served as a mission specialist on the maiden flight of the space shuttle Challenger during STS-6 in April 1983.

Peterson resigned from NASA in November 1984, working after that as a consultant in human aerospace operations. He died on May 27, 2018, in El Lago, Texas. He was 84.

First Space Shuttle Spacewalk
Astronauts Story Musgrave, left, and Don Peterson float in the cargo bay of the Earth-orbiting space shuttle Challenger during their April 7, 1983, spacewalk on the STS-6 mission. During the six-day flight, the STS-6 crew deployed of the first Tracking and Data Relay System satellite.
Photo credit: NASA

During the six-day STS-6 mission, Peterson and fellow mission specialist Story Musgrave performed a four-hour spacewalk, the first of the shuttle program. Once outside the spacecraft, Peterson was impressed with the view.

“Got a good shot of Mother Earth there Story.” He said. “It’s a fantastic view.”

As a part of the Oral History Project, Peterson explained that the purpose of the spacewalk.

“We tested a few of the tools, wrenches and some of the foot restraints,” he said, “but mainly it was to make sure the suits were OK.”