When Justin Dowd worked as a food runner at a restaurant, he would sometimes doodle on the chalkboard in the kitchen. He had no idea that this skill — coupled with his ability to explain physics — would one day win him a trip to space.
The science writer and animator who created the TED-Ed lesson “Could comets be the source of life on Earth?” Dowd is known for illuminating concepts in physics — from Einstein’s discovery to black holes — using his own special brand of “chalkimation.” In 2012, his animated videos won him the Race for Space, a competition run by Metro to send a civilian astronaut on a short suborbital flight. Dowd will have a seat on-board the suborbital spaceplane XCOR Lynx and will chronicle his training and the flight for the newspaper.
We caught up with Dowd to talk about science, his upcoming trip to the cosmos and the wonders of creating this…
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