What got me interested in space?
What was my gravity assist?
As my readers know, my life’s mission is to spread the purpose and joy of space exploration to the masses. The reason to pursue it is simple—If humanity doesn’t have a future in space, then there is no future. As beautiful as it maybe, our Earth isn’t here forever. We must invest in and prioritize space exploration and settlement as our goal. But how did I get interested in space in the first place?
I grew up in Mumbai, India and just like most students, my schooling was per the State Board curriculum. For grades five through seven, my school did this peculiar thing where, for no apparent reason, they’d omit certain chapters from the board’s science textbooks. This made me curious about the omitted topics and as it turns out, those chapters were related to space exploration and astronomy.
So after I passed grade 7, curiosity got the better out of me. I decided to read the chapter on space in the 8th grade science textbook during the vacation period itself, knowing that the school might omit the same again. The planets and sending missions to them, and the stars beyond, all of it was utterly fascinating as a kid and I wanted to know more. I was awe struck at the sheer scale, beauty, and enigmatic nature of space. So I started reading literally every book on space I could find in the local libraries. The fascination never left. And I realized via those books and paid-for internet searches—back when it was a luxury and I had no home computer—that it's physics that explains the cosmos like nothing else does.
So I guess I must thank my school for peaking my curiosity, even if that’s not how it should’ve been!