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.
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.
And here is a related guide I wrote for The Planetary Society on Moon water.
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.
I also wrote quite a few world-guides for The Planetary Society.
🪨 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.
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.
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:
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!
I had the honor of talking to two amazing people this year.
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!
I also gave a talk to students at the University of Mumbai, my alma matter, about career opportunities in science writing and communication.
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.
For me, the highlights of 2020 have been:
🌐 Expanding writing to several global publications
✍🏼 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.
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. 🚀