Former astronaut Alan Bean gives inspirational talk to school pupils

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An astronaut turned painter shared his inspirational account of stepping across the surface of the Moon.

Alan Bean was a pilot on the Apollo 12 mission, and spent around 31 hours on the Moon in November 1969.

Retired NASA astronaut Alan Bean (who was on the Apollo 12 and Skylab 3 missions) visited Wakefield Girls High School. (W556D342)

Retired NASA astronaut Alan Bean (who was on the Apollo 12 and Skylab 3 missions) visited Wakefield Girls High School. (W556D342)

And the American former astronaut stressed to pupils at Queen Elizabeth Grammar and Wakefield Girls’ High School the importance of willingness and being a team player.

Mr Bean retired from Nasa in 1981 so that he could devote his time to painting, many of which hang on the walls of space enthusiasts around the world.

One of his pieces, called The Fabulous Photo We Never Took, depicts the moment he and mission commander Pete Conrad celebrated their landing in front of the Surveyor III space probe.

He had wanted to take a photograph, but couldn’t get the camera’s self-timer out of its bag at the time.

Mr Bean’s visit to QEGS was part of space enthusiast Ken Willougby’s Space Lectures.

And A-level art student Tara Aveyard was lucky enough to meet Mr Bean in person to talk about how he had inspired her in her studies.

Head of science at WGHS Junior School, Patrick Ganley, said: “Alan gave two talks to pupils which were wonderfully inspiring and something that both WGHS and QEGS pupils will remember for a lifetime.

“He was obliging throughout his entire visit, willing to talk to anyone who asked and eager to impart words of wisdom formed through the gift of hindsight.

“Alan shared how he dedicates time every day thinking of ways he can improve, whether in his personal life or with his painting, ensuring he can be as great as he can be.”