Indian origin Gopi Torakura heads to space: what is space tourism?

Syllabus: GS-III, Subject: Science & Technology, Topic: Space technology, Issue: Space tourism

Context: Entrepreneur and pilot Gopi Thotakura is set to become the first Indian to venture into space as a tourist on the NS-25 mission of Blue Origin

Space tourism:

  • Space tourism offers recreational or business space travel opportunities.
  • Includes sub-orbital and orbital missions, with
  • Sub-orbital flights reach just beyond the Kármán line.
  • The Kármán line is a demarcation between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space. It is set at an altitude of 100 kilometres above mean sea level.
  • Orbital spacecraft take passengers much further, allowing for longer stays in space.


  • Cost- current prices often exceeding a million dollars per passenger.
  • Environmental concerns due to rocket emissions, affecting the upper atmosphere.
  • Safety remains a significant issue, with a notable fatality rate among astronauts.
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