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ALAN BEAN

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Lone Star

by Alan Bean

Astronauts are awarded a special pin, "astronaut wings" when they are accepted into that elite group. They are first given silver wings, signifying "unflown". Astronauts flying over 50 miles above Earth are then awarded golden "flown" wings. Alan's silver wings lie in a lunar crater containing the Surveyor III spacecraft, launched in early 1967, and watched over by the equipment and lunar descent platform from the Apollo 12 mission there in 1969.

This canvas can make the claim of having "flown to the moon" as it contains actual flown metal from a ground-up pin that Alan took with him to the moon. This is a heavily-textured canvas, in a small edition of 250. It is faithfully reproduced with imprints of lunar boots, hammers and other tools from Apollo 12 used by Bean to pre-texture his works before beginning painting on them.

"I had my silver pin tucked safely in the left thigh pocket of my white spacesuit, and it was still safely inside my pocket as I descended the lunar module ladder for my first steps on the Ocean of Storms. As soon as I learned to stand and walk in the light gravity, I moved outboard of the left leg of our lunar module to the lip of a large crater. On the far wall I could see the Surveyor III unmanned spacecraft that had landed in this lonely crater some 31 months earlier. We had made a pinpoint landing! Oh so carefully I removed my silver pin, took one last look at it, and gave my strongest underarm toss out towards Surveyor. I can still remember how it flashed in the bright sunlight, then disappeared into the distance. It was the only star I ever saw in the lunar sky. The sunlight was just too bright to see any of the others. I often think of my silver pin resting in the dust of Surveyor crater, just as bright and shiny as it ever was." -- Alan Bean

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