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Moonwalker astronaut Bean to visit area

POULTNEY-Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean, one of the few humans to see Earth while standing on the surface of the Moon, is the speaker for Green Mountain College's third annual Thomas L. Benson Lecture Series to be held on Earth Day, April 22.

The title of Bean's address is "Reaching for Your Own Special Star".

Bean, a U.S. astronaut and engineer, was the fourth man to set foot on the moon during the Apollo 12 mission in November 1969. He explored the landscape of the Ocean of Storms and later, as commander of Skylab Mission II, spent 59 days in orbit around Earth.

Bean was the lunar module pilot on Apollo 12, the second lunar landing. In November 1969, Al Bean and Pete Conrad landed in the Moon's Ocean of Storms-after a flight of 250,000 miles and a launch that included a harrowing lightning strike.

Bean was the astronaut who executed instructions to restore telemetry after the Saturn 5 rocket stack was struck by lightning 36 seconds after launch at Cape Canaveral, thus salvaging the mission.

Bean and the late astronaut Pete Conrad explored the lunar surface, deployed several lunar surface experiments, and installed the first atomic-powered generator station on the Moon. Apollo 12 astronaut Dick Gordon remained in lunar orbit photographing landing sites for future missions.

Bean's dusty lunar suit is on display in the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History in Fort Worth, Texas.

After retiring from NASA, Bean has spent the last few decades of his life as a painter, drawing inspiration from the world as seen from lunar and earthly perspectives.

Bean will be presented with an honorary doctor of sciences degree prior to his address.

The Benson Lecture Series, named in honor of former Green Mountain College President Thomas L. Benson, aims to bring visionary speakers of national and international significance to the college campus.

Benson was president from 1994-2002 and was the architect of the college's environmental liberal arts mission.

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