Space education plays an important role in affecting how humanity engages with the cosmos. There are many ways to teach people about space – through university education programs, for instance, or via entertaining and informative content online. The Internet offers a platform where individuals can share knowledge with others easily, bypassing typical gatekeepers of knowledge distribution. We spoke to Jatan Mehta, a space blogger and contributing editor for The Planetary Society, to understand why he writes about space.
What sort of writing do you do about space exploration?
For The Planetary Society, I write about exploration of our Solar System and the search for life elsewhere in the universe. I also cover major global lunar exploration and science developments in my Moon-dedicated newsletter. Another sort of writing I do is popular science articles on my blog, where I put particular emphasis on providing context on Indian space science missions.
Why do you do such writing?
I’m passionate about humanity exploring space as a species. Such an endeavor humbles humanity and pushes us forward. I write about space to get people excited and informed about how and why we are exploring the infinite frontier. I write so that people can understand the science we are learning from such missions. If humanity doesn’t have a future in space, then we have no future. Our Earth, as beautiful as it may be, isn’t going to last forever. We must invest in and prioritize space exploration and settlement as our goal. By doing science communication, I play my small part in pushing humanity towards achieving that goal.
What are the major skills needed for your writing about space?
One requirement is having a deep understanding and passion for space. Another is that it is important to observe what people are talking about both locally and globally – this allows a writer to decide on a proper direction and tone of writing. Obviously, it is also important to learn how to write well and in a language and style that resonates with the masses. Finally, one needs to be able to use digital tools effectively. One needs to know how to quickly find reliable information, how to network, and even how to setup a proper blog and get email subscribers.