Alan Bean, U.S. astronaut and moonwalker, dies in Houston at 86: NASA

FILE PHOTO: Retired Astronaut Alan Bean, 66, poses for a portrait in his spacesuit at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, U.S., in this undated photo. Bean, who was the fourth man to walk on the moon in 1969, left NASA in 1981 and made a successful transition from spaceman to a full-time professional artist. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo (REUTERS)

NEW YORK (Reuters) - American astronaut Alan Bean, the fourth person to walk on the moon in 1969 during the Apollo 12 mission and commanded a crew on the Skylab space station in 1973, died in Houston on Saturday, federal officials said.

He was 86 years old.

"Alan Bean once said 'I have the nicest life in the world,'" National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement. "It's a comforting sentiment to recall as we mourn his passing."


(Reporting by Gina Cherelus; Editing by Susan Thomas)