Telugu Pilot Creates History! Becomes First Indian Space Tourist

 - Sakshi Post

Gopichand Thotakura, an Indian-origin entrepreneur and pilot, became the first Indian to journey into space as a tourist. Hailing from Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, he was one of six crew members aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket that lifted off from West Texas on Sunday.

The NS-25 mission marked New Shepard's return to space tourism after a two-year hiatus following a 2022 rocket mishap. As the spacecraft crossed the Karman Line 62 miles above Earth, Gopi and the crew experienced weightlessness and took in breathtaking views of the planet's curvature.

Blue Origin's reusable New Shepard system is designed to carry astronauts and payloads to space on short suborbital trips. The program has now launched 31 people across seven tourist missions, including celebrity passengers like William Shatner and the company's founder Jeff Bezos himself.

This was also a landmark flight as it carried former Air Force pilot Ed Dwight, the first Black astronaut to reach space. Looking ahead, Blue Origin aims to partner with NASA on future lunar exploration endeavors as it continues paving the way for making space more accessible.

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