Fast Times on the Ocean of Storms

Al Bean runs with long strides on the way to Halo Crater

Painting Completed 1989
33 x 48 inches, Acrylic on Masonite

I have painted myself almost flying over the surface of the Moon. Running on the Moon isn't like running on Earth, mostly because the pull of gravity is only one-sixth of what we feel down here. I was light on my feet, much as I had expected. When I pushed off with one foot, there was a long pause before I landed on the other foot, like running in slow motion. I could feel my leg muscles completely relax as I glided along to the next step. I seemed to float just above the surface.

I vividly recall one instance as I was running near a large crater. I felt I must look like a gazelle, leaping long distances with each bound. I looked over at my partner, Pete Conrad, as he ran nearby. His leaps were graceful and he was space borne for a long time; but, to my surprise, he wasn't rising very high or leaping very far at all. Then I realized that, in the Moon's light gravity, we did not have the traction to push hard backwards with our boots. We couldn't leap like gazelles - it only felt that way.

Running on the Ocean of Storms was relatively easy and a whole lot of fun. I was always in a hurry to get to the next exploration site because, like many things in life, there was so much to do and so little time to do it.

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