Assam daughter and a space scientist Priyanka Das Rajkakati, finds a place in Forbes India’s 30 Under 30. She is also among the few whose artworks will be showcased on the Moon itself as part of an international Moon Gallery project. Under the project, her artworks will be sent to the Moon via a lunar lander mission.
Priyanka’s unique endeavor is inspired by the ethos of ancient Indian Vedic scriptures and the notion of duality. Also central to her artwork is her own dual nature as an artist-scientist. Aptly named ‘Bhedadipika – an illustration of Duality’, her submission reflects her Indian roots and Vedic influence.
According to Priyanka, whose artwork carries a strong message for the future of space and culture, art and culture do have importance in human space missions. The young scientist-artist’s submission comprises two objects constrained inside a one cubic centimetre box – a strip of paper with hand-drawn phases of the moon in glow-in-the-dark ink, and a nano SIM card that contains artistic simulations that are coded using Python programming language.
Priyanka, who has a dual interest in arts and science, pursued a bachelor’s degree in physics at New Delhi’s St Stephen’s College, a part of the Cambridge Mission to India, now a part of the University of Delhi.
The young scientist was also selected in 2019 – alongside 75 women from all over the world – to be part of the 5th cohort of the Homeward Bound initiative for women in science, involving a collective trip to Antarctica aimed at leadership training and highlighting the impact of climate change on the ice continent.
Priyanka is the daughter of Manoj Kumar Das, Managing Director, North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited, Assam, and Dr Ajanta Baruah Das, currently working with Delhi Government Health Scheme, New Delhi.