From the origin of COVID-19 to coronavirus vaccine to China’s Mars mission to launch of James Webb Space telescope, 2021 definitely has a lot to show. Let’s have a look at the most crucial science events to watch for in 2021.

The year 2020 is considered as one of the most dreadful years in human history ever. While we all were exhausted mentally being locked up in our homes for months, there was a series of unfortunate events that took place in the outside world. But it seems that the year 2021 is definitely going to be much more enticing as it is surely going to be the year of science events.

All of us would unanimously agree that since last year, the significance of science has immensely grown in our lives and why wouldn’t it be? It was only science that came to the rescue of mankind against a mighty virus. In the hindsight, it is also true that scientific events and discoveries tend to make all of us curious at some point in time whether we like or hate science, and rightfully so, the mysterious inquisitiveness evoked by such events often creates a sense of curiosity.

So, here we list some of the interesting science events that you can watch for in 2021:

1. Origin of COVID-19

It’s been more than a year since the first COVID-19 case was detected in China in 2019 but still, the information on the emanation of the virus remains hazy and far from seeing the light of the day. That’s why 2021 is quite crucial as teams including virologists, animal researchers, health specialists led by WHO will again go to China’s Wuhan. There they are expected to trace the source of coronavirus in the Huanan market. Although it might take years, still many experts have propounded that some crucial information may come up by the end of this year.

2. Approval of crucial Alzheimer’s Drug

Scientists in the US have made a major breakthrough by making a drug that can alleviate the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. The drug manufactured by Biogen is named Aducanumab is an antibody that can bind to brin protein Amyloid known for causing disease leading to a severe loss of memory. The US Food and Drug Administration is yet to approve it on the basis of efficacy. Meanwhile, scientists are hopeful that this year would bring a respite for Alzheimer’s patients.

3. Coronavirus Vaccines

This year has started on a rather elated note of several vaccines getting emergency approval proving to be quite a milestone in saving the lives of vulnerable patients. As we march ahead into 2021 there could be several more vaccine candidates which probably are going to get the approval and will be available in the market for the use of the general public as well. Vaccines from Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline are also awaited to get approval by this year.

4. China’s Mars Mission

China is gearing up to launch its first-ever Mars exploration project which is set to land on the surface of the red planet in February. Chinese probe on Mars – Tianwen-1 will explore the planet for crucial signs of water and life using various instruments such as a camera, radar, etc. Along with China’s Mars probe, a few other missions from the UAE and the US will also reach the planet.

5. Launch of PSLV C51

India’s PSLV C51 will be launched this year by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The mission will carry three privately-developed Indian satellites along with one satellite from Brazil. On the other hand, the pandemic has also disrupted the schedule of several other manned and unmanned missions of ISRO.

6. Launch of James Webb Telescope

The month of October will witness another big launch of the James Webb Space telescope which is deemed to be the most powerful telescope of our times. This telescope will be able to penetrate much deeper into the universe as compared to the Hubble telescope enabling scientists and astronomers to pierce through various unknown galaxies to observe various star-led planetary formations. The telescope was made at a worth of $8.8 billion and will be able to cover a greater wavelength.

James Webb Telescope (Pic: NASA)

7. Cleaning of Space

As if Earth was not enough, we humans have created a lot of mess up in space as well. Pertaining to the cleaning of junk from space – a project to clean the space will be launched by March 2021 from the Russian Soyuz rocket in Kazakhstan. The project will be having equipment that will capture orbital junk and debris that is floating across space.