America’s Justin Dowd wins Metro’s Race for Space

Justin Dowd, 22, of the North End.
NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO

Justin Dowd from Worcester, Massachusetts, has won the Race for Space, the global competition to select one Metro reader to travel into space.
 
Dowd, 22, beat thousands of candidates from across the globe to win a the coveted once-in-a-lifetime ticket on board XCOR Lynx, the first generation rocket-powered spaceplane currently being built by leading spaceflight company SXC (Space Expedition Curaçao).
 
Dowd has both the mental and physical smarts needed to be a perfect astronaut. Dowd, a physics and maths undergraduate at Boston’s Northeastern University, wowed the judging panel with his stunning chalkboard stop motion video on Einstein’s theory of relativity. Meanwhile, Dowd has been training for a grueling 12-mile (19-km) endurance obstacle course race.
 
“My motivation for him is that he really provides an amazing package in the combined qualities of scientific background, artistic qualities, dedication and the gift to tell a fascinating story,” Harry Van Hulten, test pilot with SXC and global jury member that selected Dowd.
 
“He is absolutely unique. He taught me things in his video that I didn’t understand as well as I do now. He really blew me away with that. I can’t think of any better ambassador to tell the story about this space trip than him.”
 
Dowd will receive astronaut training ahead of the trip scheduled for 2014. The ‘civilian astronaut’ will be able to chronicle his preparations and space flight itself in a series of reports published in Metro across the globe.
 
 
In reacting to the news, Dowd told Metro, “I’m the luckiest guy in the world and for about 20 minutes, I’ll be the luckiest guy in outer space!”
 
Dowd added that it’s “an absolute honor” to be the part of the world’s first space mission to be launched by a newspaper. “To say this is a once-in-a-lifetime event is an understatement. This is the first time ever this sort of mission is happening and I am elated to be a part of history.”

 

60 seconds with Justin Dowd

What inner qualities do you think will help you be a great astronaut for the mission?
 
When I was in school, my friends called me a nerd in a jock’s body. So, I was always interested in physics – to expand my knowledge of the world – but I am big into sports and exercise. I think these two things will help me be a good astronaut.
 
What are you looking forward to most about the mission?
 
Those few precious moments of weightlessness during the flight, watching the curvature of Earth, and experiencing the force of going Mach 3.
 
How does this news compare to your greatest passion in life?
 
I’m a massive fan of [American football team] New England Patriots. My fellow fans would absolutely hate me for saying this, but all the times the Patriots won the Super Bowl in recent years does not compare at all to this great news of mine!
 
How does your mom feel about you going to outer space?
 
[Laughs] Well, she is both happy and nervous about my trip!
 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Girl, 10, dies after being pulled from water…

A 10-year-old girl died after being pulled from the waters off Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, police said.

News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 7,…

Drunk girls and ghost brownies: here’s your weekly ‘Pretty Little Liars’ recap by way of Q&A. Q: do they really not check for feet under…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.