./uploads/advanced-cache.php First Indian Space Tourist Gopichand Thotakura unfurls Tricolour in Space during Blue Origin’s NS-25 Mission

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First Indian Space Tourist Gopichand Thotakura unfurls Tricolour in Space during Blue Origin’s NS-25 Mission

Gopichand Thotakura

Gopichand Thotakura, a pilot and entrepreneur of Indian origin, became the first space tourist from India on Sunday. He was one of six crew members on board Blue Origin’s New Shepard-25 mission, which blasted off from West Texas.

A video shared on Blue Origin’s official Instagram account captured the awe-inspiring moment when Thotakura showcased a small tricolour flag against the backdrop of the cosmos. He also held up a banner that read “I am an eco-warrior for our sustainable planet” during the flight. This suborbital spaceflight lasted about ten minutes, reaching a peak altitude of 105 km above Earth. The crew experienced weightlessness for a brief period and witnessed breathtaking views of our planet.

 

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The Crew and Their Mission

Thotakura, a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, is not only an avid traveler but also a pilot and aviator. He co-founded Preserve Life Corp, a global center for holistic wellness and applied health near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. His diverse flying experiences include commercial jets, bush planes, aerobatic flights, seaplanes, gliders, and hot air balloons. Additionally, he serves as an international medical jet pilot.

Thotakura, born in India’s southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, was joined by other astronauts, including Mason Angel, Sylvain Chiron, Kenneth L. Hess, Carol Schaller, and former Air Force Captain Ed Dwight—the nation’s first Black astronaut candidate selected by President John F. Kennedy in 1961. Together, they embarked on a historic flight experience.

New Shepard’s Milestones

The New Shepard spacecraft, developed by Blue Origin, has now transported 37 individuals into space, including the crew from this mission. This marked the seventh human flight for the New Shepard program and the 25th overall. The program has carried 31 humans above the Karman line, the proposed boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space.

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