Gopi Thotakura becomes first Indian to go into space as a tourist

Travelled to space in a Blue Origin rocket !

Houston (USA) – For the last 2-3 years, space tourism has been promoted in the US. Especially, private firms are competing in this regard. The purpose of space tourism is to take ordinary people to the space station. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ company Blue Origin sent 6 people into space with the help of the New Shepard-25 rocket on 19th May. Gopi Thotakura from Andhra Pradesh is one among them, and thus, became the first Indian to go into space as a tourist. He became the second Indian to go into space after Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma of the Indian Air Force in 1984.

1. Apart from Gopi Thotakura, the mission included Mason Angel, Sylvain Chiron, Kenneth L Hess, Carol Schaller and former US Army Captain Ed Dwight.

2. Blue Origin, which competes with Elon Musk’s startup SpaceX, has already flown 31 people into space in its New Shepard rocket. This rocket has been named ‘New Shepard Rocket’ after the first American astronaut in space, Alan Shepard.

3. The first mission of Space Tourism was undertaken on 12 September 2022. The rocket had caught fire shortly after launch. It was then re-tested in December 2023. Following this, this rocket took off in the sky from Texas in the United States on the evening of 19th May.

Who is Gopi Thotakura ?

Gopi is a pilot and an entrepreneur. He studied for a BSc in aeronautical science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in US and studied Aviation Management at Emirates Aviation University in Dubai. Interestingly, Gopi learned to fly a plane before even driving a four-wheeler.

Journey in space

A rocket is lifted 100 km above the Earth. From this distance, tourists can unfasten their seat belts and take a gaze at the earth. Since the Earth’s gravity is minimal at such a distance, tourists can experience zero weight (weightlessness). This duration is about 11 minutes. Blue Origin claims that it is an unforgettable experience.