Andhra Man Creates History With Blue Origin Mission

In a historic development, Andhra born Gopi Thotakura, an entrepreneur and pilot born in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, made history on Sunday. He became the first Indian to venture into space as a tourist.

He was part of the elite crew on Blue Origin's New Shepard-25 (NS-25) mission, which launched from the company's West Texas site at approximately 8:05 PM IST, after a slight delay from its scheduled time of 9:35 AM local US time.

The New Shepard-25 mission, featuring the New Shepard 4 rocket and crew capsule, marked a significant milestone for Thotakura, who joined five other crew members on a journey to the edge of space. This mission has elevated Thotakura to a historic position as the second Indian to travel to space, following Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma, who flew aboard the Soviet Soyuz T-11 in 1984 under the Interkosmos program.

Thotakura, a seasoned pilot who flies jets commercially and pilots bush, aerobatic, and seaplanes, was thrilled to be part of the mission. His journey with Blue Origin's NS-25 signifies not only a personal achievement but also a landmark moment for India's space tourism ambitions.