1st Indian To Go To Space As A Tourist: This Indian Entrepreneur Makes History!


Mohul Ghosh

Mohul Ghosh

May 20, 2024


On a historic Sunday evening, Gopi Thotakura etched his name in the annals of space exploration as the first Indian citizen to embark on a space tourism journey. This remarkable feat was achieved as he joined the elite crew for Blue Origin’s New Shepard-25 (NS-25) mission, which took off from the company’s West Texas launch site in the US. The launch, scheduled for 9:35 am local US time, eventually occurred at 8:05 pm IST, an hour later than planned.

Profile of the Trailblazer

Gopi Thotakura, hailing from Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, is not only an entrepreneur but also an accomplished pilot. Despite residing and working in the US, he has retained his Indian citizenship. Gopi’s journey to the edge of space alongside five other astronauts marks a significant milestone in India’s space history. He is officially the second astronaut from India after Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma, who ventured into space as a professional cosmonaut in 1984.

Smooth Voyage Beyond the Boundary of Space

Following the takeoff, the NS-25 vehicle smoothly ascended beyond the boundary of space. The rocket and capsule then safely returned to Earth, with the rocket landing upright a few minutes after liftoff. Approximately 15 minutes after takeoff, the capsule successfully touched down, utilizing two of its three parachutes. This mission marked Blue Origin’s first crew launch in nearly two years and a triumphant return to human spaceflight.

Gopi’s Background and Achievements

Gopi Thotakura, a lifelong pilot and aviator, learned to fly before he could even drive. He holds a BSc in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, US, and has worked in medical air evacuation services in India in the past. Gopi is also a co-founder of Preserve Life Corp, a global center for holistic wellness and applied health. A seasoned traveller, his recent adventure took him to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Significance of the Mission

This mission not only marks a personal achievement for Gopi Thotakura but also signifies a milestone in India’s journey in space exploration. Blue Origin’s commitment to space tourism and its plans for future missions demonstrate the growing interest and investment in space exploration beyond government-funded programs.


Mohul Ghosh
Mohul Ghosh
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