The Best of Bean

A collection of otherworldly paintings goes on display at the National Air and Space Museum.

(Courtesy Alan Bean)

Maximum Push, Charlie Duke, Soil Scientist

1993, acrylic on aircraft plywood

About this painting, Russo notes, “Duke pushed an instrument called a penetrometer into the lunar soil to determine its hardness. The data from this experiment helped scientists better understand how well the terrain might support future spacecraft, surface vehicles, and structures.”

Adds Bean, “Charlie’s maximum push is not without complications. He will shortly lose his balance and fall to the lunar surface. But not to worry! Except for getting a little dusty, Charlie will be able to do a simple pushup to his knees, then a quick knee hop back to his feet.”

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