Jun
14
2006

Hawking stresses space colonization

Artist's conception of colonization on Mars: 
Courtesy NASA
Artist's conception of colonization on Mars:
Courtesy NASA

Would you be willing to travel to the moon or Mars to live there permanently? Well, somebody’s going to have to do it, if the human race wants to avoid extinction. At least that’s what world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking told a sold-out audience recently.

"Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, or a genetically engineered virus, genetically engineered virus other dangers we have not yet thought of," Hawking said.

The wheelchair-bound British scientist, who suffers from the neurological disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, used a special voice-simulating computer to get his message across. He said humans wouldn’t find anywhere as nice as Earth unless we go to another star system, but added we could have a permanent base on the moon in twenty years and a colony on Mars within forty years.

That’s all well and good, but would you really want to live on the moon or Mars for the rest of your life? I guess I’d welcome the opportunity to take a ride up into outer space on a spacecraft, or even a short visit to the moon, but personally I’m not too keen on leaving our beautiful Blue Planet forever. How about anyone else? Would you go?

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bryan kennedy's picture

In other related news, Stephen Hawking is going to write a fictional children's book focused on explaining key concepts of theoretical physics.. I actually read his A Brief History of Time, yes all the way through, and thinks that he could write quite an interesting story. He will author the book with his daughter Lucy.

posted on Thu, 06/15/2006 - 7:42am

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