Skip to main content

New 49ers QB 'Passtronaut' Joshua Dobbs returns to Cleveland to take in solar eclipse

With eyes across the nation taking in Monday's solar eclipse, the Passtronaut made his return to Cleveland to take in the historic viewing party.

Joshua Dobbs, who signed this offseason with the San Francisco 49ers, had a pair of stints with the Cleveland Browns. So, the 29-year-old quarterback found himself equally excited for the Niners' prospects and the opportunity to catch a glimpse of history from the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.

"I feel good, I feel good," Glenn said Monday on NASA’s live stream, "it's an exciting time, obviously I spent a couple years here in Cleveland, got a chance to have some fun over at NASA Glenn during my time here, so it's cool to be back, and taking in the eclipse here in Cleveland, but looking forward to the future in San Francisco. I know NASA's doing some great work out there on the West Coast, so we'll be able to stay tuned to that as well."

Dobbs, a University of Tennessee product, has an aerospace engineering degree and has established The ASTROordinary Dobbs Foundation. Thus, when he spurred the Minnesota Vikings to some inspired play for a span last season, his Passtronaut nickname took off.

Now with the Niners, Dobbs has spent time with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Browns, Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals and Vikings.

According to The Associated Press, full solar eclipses take place every one to three years, but they are most often in places where people are unable to see them -- such as over the Pacific Ocean or Antarctica. The next total solar eclipse is set for 2026 and will cross Greenland, Iceland and Spain. However, North America won't be able to view one until 2033 in Alaska. Thus, Monday marked a special moment and one that was marked on the calendar back when Dobbs was with the Browns.

"You know when this event was put on my radar about a year ago in last offseason, they were like 'Hey, the eclipse is coming straight through Cleveland, we'd love to have you here, it's going to be a once-in-a-lifetime event.'" Dobbs said. "To be able to experience it, especially here on the beautiful Great Lakes and obviously had some great weather today, so I marked on my calendar a year ago, and to make it back here and take it in and get a chance to hang out with the city I spent two years in, it's been great. I think the biggest thing that I've enjoyed is just seeing the interest from the city of Cleveland and how many people traveled here to take in the event today. And to be able to then also go learn about the future of NASA and the future of space exploration as well at the same time, it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take it in, and it's been an honor to be here."

Dobbs never actually played in a regular season game for the Browns. He was signed in the 2022 offseason, but released in November ahead of making his first NFL start for the Titans that season. He returned to the Browns in 2023, but was traded to the Cardinals. Traded once more to the Vikings during the 2023 season, Dobbs came off the bench in Week 9, just days after he was acquired, to lead Minnesota to a thrilling win over the Atlanta Falcons.

He played well again in a follow-up victory against the New Orleans Saints and the Passtronaut's out-of-this-world acclaim had skyrocketed.

Though he's likely had a hand in inspiring some future QBs, he believes days such as Monday will inspire future engineers and scientists near and far.

"There's a wealth of youth walking around here, and taking in not only the blowups and displays outside, but also the Great Lakes Science Center inside, and just seeing the history of the space program," Dobbs said. "I think that gives them perspective, and so just like NASA, that's been my approach. I think the youth obviously is the next generation, they're going to have a tremendous impact on the world. And being able to inspire the youth out here and the youth across the country that if you have interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), and also are really good at sports, you don't have to split your eggs, you can go out, put all your eggs in both baskets and work hard to achieve those goals and dreams."

Related Content