1st Indian Goes To Space on Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin

Blue Origin, a space company founded and owned by Jeff Bezos, finally resumed its space tourism after two years of break. A group of six adventurers, including Gopi Thotakura, Mason Angel, Sylvain Chiron, Kenneth L. Hess, Carol Schaller and Ed Dwight, completed an 11-minute journey to space. 

30-year-old Gopi Thatokura is a pilot from Andhra Pradesh, India. He has become the first Indian to travel to space as a tourist on a Blue Origin flight. After returning from the space trip, Gopi shared his experience – 

“It was amazing to see it with your eyes. I can’t describe how it is to look into space.., everybody should go to space. It was good to see Earth from the outside.”

On the other hand, Blue Origin mentioned him in its statement – “Gopi Thotakura is a lifelong pilot and aviator who learned how to fly before he could drive. He flies jets commercially, in addition to piloting bush, aerobatic and seaplanes. He’s also the co-founder of Preserve Life Corporation, a global centre for holistic wellness and applied health.” 

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Blue Origin’s seventh mission, Mission NS-25, included 90-year-old member Ed Dwight, who was nearly two months older than the last ‘oldest man in space’, Willian Shatner, who became the oldest person to travel into space. He is also a former Air Force captain who was selected in 1961but never got to space with NASA. 

After returning, he mentioned, “This is a life-changing experience; everybody should do this.”

Gopi has retained his Indian passport despite working in the US, making him the first Indian citizen to go into space as a tourist. He is officially the second astronaut from the country after Wing commander Rakesh Sharma, who flew a professional cosmonaut to space on board Soyuz T-11 on April 3, 1984. Sunita Williams, Kalapana Chawala, Raja Chari, and Sirisha Bandla were all US citizens of Indian origin who also made it to space as professional astronauts. 

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