India to Join SERA and Blue Origin's Citizen Astronaut Program


In In a groundbreaking move to democratize space travel, the US-based Space Exploration and Research Agency (SERA) and Blue Origin announced that India will be a partner in their human spaceflight program. This collaboration will give Indian citizens a chance to secure a seat on Blue Origin’s New Shepard reusable rocket for an 11-minute journey past the Karman line, the recognized boundary of space at 100 km altitude.

This initiative will include Indian citizens among the six participants SERA and Blue Origin plan to offer from countries with limited or no representation in citizen astronaut programs. Participants will experience a few minutes of weightlessness before a controlled descent back to the landing site.

Joshua Skurla, Co-Founder of SERA, expressed excitement about India's inclusion, stating, "We are thrilled to have India as part of our human spaceflight program". He commended India’s recent achievement of becoming the first nation to reach the Moon’s South Pole and emphasized SERA’s commitment to making space travel accessible to everyone. "We are pleased to offer this unique opportunity to an Indian citizen to experience the wonders of space travel", Skurla added.

Indian citizens interested in participating can register for the program by paying a nominal fee of approximately $2.50, which covers the costs of verification to ensure safe and fair participation. Final candidates will be selected through a public voting process based on their personal stories, which they can promote via their mission profile pages, social media, and other channels.

Selected participants must meet Blue Origin's physical requirements for space travel. They will undergo training at Blue Origin’s launch site in West Texas three days before the flight. This mission offers a unique opportunity for Indian citizens to venture into space, contributing to a more inclusive future in space exploration.