Best of 2020

A look back at my best articles and talks in this otherwise dreadful year.

Dear readers,

2020 has been a bittersweet year for me. The bitter is for obvious reasons, but let’s focus on the sweet parts for the moment.

I quit my job this year to go solo on communicating the purpose and joy of space exploration to everyone I can. And it has been one amazing flight so far. Here’s my best content of the year, across articles, talks and podcast appearances.

Articles

Every writer has, I think, what they consider to be their flagship article. Their best foot forward. The iPhone to their Apple. Here is mine.

🌔 Why explore the Moon

And here is a related guide I wrote for The Planetary Society on Moon water.

🧊 Ultimate guide to water on the Moon


My article on the missing science from India’s Mars orbiter really took off. It even evoked a response from two planetary scientists, one of whom used to work at ISRO. I didn’t get paid to write the article, as with every such piece that’s not for a publication, but the public response itself made the effort worthwhile.

🛰 India’s Mars orbiter completes six years at the red planet, but where is the science?


I also wrote quite a few world-guides for The Planetary Society.

🪐 Guides to the planets Venus, Saturn and Neptune and their exploration

🪨 Guide to asteroids, comets and small worlds and why care about them


After the iconic Apollo Moon missions, putting humans on Mars is the next giant leap. Here’s my piece on how we’ve been preparing for that moment right here in Earth orbit for 20 years.

👩🏽‍🚀 Experiments at the International Space Station that paved the way to living on Mars and beyond


China successfully brought Moon samples to Earth on December 16 with the ambitious Chang’e 5 mission. I wrote an article explaining the scientific importance of the landing site from where the samples were collected.

☄️ Chang’e 5 landing site: The volcanic complex of Rümker


While the following aren’t articles, I also make space memes at times (because, why not?), some of which got popular! I present to you:

🤓 My original space memes collection


Moon newsletter

I started the only newsletter in the world dedicated to Moon exploration and science. Despite being niche, it crossed 100 subscribers in just four weeks. What's more satisfying though is these include people from NASA, ESA, universities, space companies building Moon landers, and more!

🌗 Moon Monday


Interviews

I had the honor of talking to two amazing people this year.

🇮🇳 Interviewing Chandrayaan 1’s Mission Director on India’s role in the new Moon race

🚀 Interviewing Tory Bruno, leading the company that has launched every NASA mission to Mars


Talks

I’ve been attending the excellent popular science talk series called Chai and Why? here in Mumbai, India since six years now. And recently I got to give one of those talks!

🏠 Why aren’t we living on the Moon already?


I was invited by Tech2 on their science podcast alongside Narayan Prasad to talk about India's space exploration roadmap, or the lack thereof.

🎯 Does India have a space exploration roadmap?


I also gave a talk to students at the University of Mumbai, my alma matter, about career opportunities in science writing and communication.

📝 Career options in science writing and communication in India


For those interested in space in general, or want something kids and a broader audience could enjoy, here are two talks from this year to that effect.

🔭 Why explore space

🌌 (Live) Spaced Out with King Sidharth


My journey

For me, the highlights of 2020 have been:

🌐 Expanding writing to several global publications

💌 Starting a Patreon and Buy me a Coffee account where readers support my work directly

✍🏼 Becoming a Contributing Editor for The Planetary Society

👥 Many students messaging they get inspired to write or take up science communication because of me. ☺️

If you’re interested in how I went from amateur blogging in 2011 to ending 2020 as a professional science writer, I’ve written about my journey here.

My journey as a science writer


A soft reminder that I don’t display ads on any of my websites, don’t accept sponsors and only earn when writing from publications. If you like my work, I’d very much appreciate your support.


Here’s to the next decade, which promises to be the most exciting one for space exploration in the history of humanity. It’s our collective job to make it happen. 🚀