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Meet Gopichand Thotakura, the first Indian to venture into space as tourist with Blue Origin

Selected as part of the elite crew for Blue Origin's New Shephard-25 (NS-25) mission, Thotakura will make a journey beyond the Earth's atmosphere along with five other candidates. Know all about him and the mission.

Meet Gopichand Thotakura, the first Indian to venture into space as tourist with Blue Origin gcw
First Published Apr 12, 2024, 11:41 AM IST

Indian pilot Gopichand Thotakura has been chosen as one of the tourists traveling to space on board the Blue Origin in an attempt to reach new heights in aviation. Thotakura is the first Indian to head to Space as a tourist. He and five other international crew members have been chosen to be a part of Blue Origin's New Shephard-25 (NS-25) expedition.

Thotakura is a part of the mission that will be the seventh human flight for the New Shepard program and the 25th in its history, however the exact date of the flight has not yet been disclosed.

Who is Gopi Thotakura?

Born in Vijayawada, Thotakura, 30, is an entrepreneur and pilot who, as described on the Blue Origin website, “learnt to fly before he could drive.” Preserve Life Corp., a worldwide hub for applied health and holistic wellness close to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, is a company he co-founded.

According to the Blue Origin website, Gopi has experience flying gliders, hot air balloons, bush, aerobatic, and seaplanes in addition to commercial jets. He has also flown medical aircraft internationally. In addition to flying, Thotakura enjoys traveling and seeking new experiences. Thotakura, an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University alumnus, recently traveled to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

All about Blue Origin’s New Shephard-25 (NS-25) mission

Along with Thotakura, five other people have been chosen to be a member of the exclusive crew on Blue Origin's New Shephard-25 (NS-25) mission. Among them are venture capitalist Mason Angel, software engineer and entrepreneur Sylvain Chiron, astronaut Ed Dwight, retired CPA Carol Schaller, and software developer Kenneth L. Hess. Each astronaut will carry a postcard to space on behalf of Blue Origin’s foundation, Club for the Future.

Nearly 99% of New Shepard’s dry mass is reused, including the booster, capsule, engine, landing gear, and parachutes. New Shepard’s engine is fueled by highly efficient liquid oxygen and hydrogen. During flight, the only byproduct is water vapor with no carbon emissions.

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