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Meet Pilot Gopi Thotakura, who is set to become first Indian space tourist

Pilot Gopichand Thotakura is all set to become the first Indian to travel into space as a tourist. Reportedly, he will travel to the space as a part of the crew for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin’s New Shephard-25 (NS-25) mission. However, the flight date is yet to be announced.

It is worth mentioning here that Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma, a former Indian Air Force pilot, was the first Indian to travel into space in 1984.

“Gopi is a pilot and aviator who learned how to fly before he could drive. Gopi pilots bush, aerobatic, and seaplanes, as well as gliders and hot air balloons, and has served as an international medical jet pilot. A lifelong traveler, his most recent adventure took him to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro,” said Blue Origins describing about Gopichand Thotakura.

After being selected for the mission, the Indian-origin pilot Gopi Thotakura said, “Blue Origin’s tagline is ‘for the benefit of earth’ and that is what is important to notice here to protect mother earth, they’re seeking life and adventure outside the planet…all the efforts that are put in, is to explore the space beyond. That’s how we can protect mother earth and this is my interpretation of Blue’s mission.”

“I can’t express my feelings right now because it is something that is not in the urban dictionary. It is something I take with me. I always tell people that right from when you are born till the time you leave, you wake up and want to see the sky, want to take a breath, but I want to have this opportunity to do the reverse, to go up there and see down here. Movies do a fantastic job but (to see) what the naked eye can see, you have to do that yourself. The whole excitement is about looking back and seeing what’s going on, without being documented or without someone else’s eye,” he said in an interview with ANI.

Notably, Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin has announced the six-person crew for its NS-25 mission, which includes Mason Angel, Sylvain Chiron, Kenneth L Hess, Carol Schaller, Gopi Thotakura, and former Air Force Captain Ed Dwight.

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