Captain Gopichand becomes first Indian to tour space aboard Blue Origin; says 'everybody should go to space'

20 May,2024 01:32 PM IST |  New Delhi  |  IANS

Thotakura is the second Indian to visit space, after Rakesh Sharma`s historic flight on Russia`s Soyuz T-11 spacecraft in 1984

Image for representational purpose only. Photo Courtesy: istock

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Everybody should go to space, said Captain Gopichand Thotakura after becoming the first Indian ever to tour the edge of space on Blue Origin's seventh crewed flight mission on Sunday.

"It was amazing... you have to see it with your eyes," said the Vijayawada-born pilot, after coming out of the space capsule.

The 11-minute flight, which launched at 8.06 pm IST from the company's Launch Site One in West Texas, carried the six-person crew to space above the Karman line -- an internationally recognised boundary of space that lies 100 km above the Earth's surface.

"I can't describe how it is to look into space… everybody should go to the space. It was good to see Earth from the other side," he said.

"I think every person on the plant should get to witness the sight," he added.

Thotakura is the second Indian to visit space, after Rakesh Sharma's historic flight on Russia's Soyuz T-11 spacecraft in 1984.

After Sharma, three persons of Indian origin have reached space -- Kalpana Chawla (1997), Sunita Williams (2006), and Raja Chari (2021) as NASA astronauts.

He was part of the seventh human flight missions by the Jeff Bezos-owned company, which also carried 90-year-old Ed Dwight, Mason Angel, Sylvain Chiron, Kenneth L. Hess, and Carol Schaller.

This is Blue Origin's first flight in nearly two years, after the New Shepard rocket was grounded for months after a failed uncrewed launch in September 2022.

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