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Gopi Thotakura Becomes First Indian Space Tourist

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Texas, USA, May 19: In a historic milestone, Gopi Thotakura, an entrepreneur and pilot, became the first Indian space tourist. Thotakura was one of the six space tourists on Blue Origin’s NS-25 mission, which was launched on May 19, 2024, from Launch Site One in West Texas in United States.

Notably, this was the first space flight of Blue Origin’s New Shepard (NS-25) in the last two years, as its space tourism operations were paused due to a rocket mishap in September 2022.

In an official statement, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin stated, “Today, Blue Origin successfully completed its seventh human spaceflight and the 25th flight for the New Shepard program. Our astronaut crew included Mason Angel, Sylvain Chiron, Kenneth L. Hess, Carol Schaller, Gopi Thotakura, and former Air Force Captain Ed Dwight, who was selected by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 as the nation’s first Black astronaut candidate but never had the opportunity to fly.”

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On achieving the new milestone, Phil Joyce, Senior Vice President of New Shepard, said, “A big thank you to our astronaut customers for the opportunity to provide this life-changing experience. Each of you is a pioneer helping to advance our mission to build a road to space for the benefit of Earth.”

In an official post on X, Blue Origin said, “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 Corp, a global center for holistic wellness and applied health.”

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