Kuiper poses with a darkened sky as the Great American Eclipse achieves totality.

The Great American Eclipse: Totality

“When I review my travels among the astronauts, my mind’s eye goes first to the Houston shopping mall where Alan Bean sat for hours after returning from space, just eating ice cream and watching the people swirl around him, enraptured by the simple yet miraculous fact they they were there and alive in that moment, and so was he.” Andrew Smith, Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth, 2005

Totality only lasted for a minute and thirty seconds at our camp in Prineville, Oregon. I managed to quickly snap this picture with my phone before putting it away to enjoy the moment. My friend got some really nice shots with his Nikon Fancycam 5000 and we have permission to share some when he’s done processing; stay tuned!

We are currently hanging out in trafficpocalypse (don’t worry, I never Instagram in the driver’s seat.) We have lots of snacks and podcasts and know we’ll make it home eventually. ? After a month on the road, I’m really looking forward to seeing #focothedog, Kuiper’s brother, tonight. And it will be nice to see our kitty Mister, too.

Astronaut Alan Bean was the fourth person to walk on the moon. He flew on both Apollo 12 and Skylab 3 (the second manned missions to the Moon and to Skylab, respectively.) In 1981, he quit NASA to become a full-time painter. In an interview with @smithsonianmagazine in 2009, he said, “I didn’t know why I wanted to paint and none of my other pilot or astronaut friends did. It seemed like a good thing to do. It seemed like it was nice.”

Bean also emphasized how serious he was about his new profession; he went to art school and studied hard. He explained that he prefers to be thought of as a man who is now an artist and who used to be an astronaut, rather than “an astronaut who paints.” ?
His art is really rad; check it out at alanbean.com and let me know what you think!

Original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/BYErxbCA-C4/

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