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Watch: Gopi Thotakura displays Indian flag in space on board Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin

NEW DELHI: India-born Gopi Thotakura, the first Indian citizen to venture into space as a tourist, flaunted the Indian flag while floating in the spacecraft due to gravity loss. The video capturing the crew’s gravity-defying exploits has become viral on social media.
In the footage shared by Blue Origin, Gopi Thotakura can be seen showcasing a miniature of the tricolour in the spacecraft.In the video other crew members were also seen enjoying the feeling of floating in the spacecraft. In the video, initially taken aback by the gradual lift-off from their seats and the ensuing rotation, the crew members soon embrace the adventure with gusto.

Later, Thotakura appears in front of the camera with a placard that reads, “I am an Eco hero of my sustainable planet.” The caption along with the video stated, “Forever changed.”
He is part of the elite crew for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin’s NS-25 mission, which took off from the company’s West Texas launch site in the US around 8:05 pm (IST), an hour late from its scheduled launch time of 9:35 am (local US time).
Born in Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh), Gopi, an entrepreneur and a pilot, journeyed to the edge of space beyond the Earth’s atmosphere along with five others — Ed Dwight, Mason Angel, Sylvain Chiron, Kenneth L Hess and Carol Schaller. Ed Dwight (90) is now the oldest man on Earth to go to space.
Gopi has retained his Indian passport despite working in the US. Although he became the first Indian citizen to go to space as a tourist, he is officially the second astronaut from the country after Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma, who flew as a professional cosmonaut to space on board Soyuz T-11 on April 3, 1984, as part of the Soviet Interkosmos programme. Astronauts Kalpana Chawla, Sunita Williams, Raja Chari, and Sirisha Bandla were all US citizens of Indian origin who also went to space as professional astronauts.

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