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Time for humans to start thinking about moving says Hawking

For many years humans have dreamed of one day colonizing other planets and moons.  Although research would be an important reason for the foreign bases, could the survival of the human race depend on whether or not we can colonize other planets?  World-renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking recently said that humans need to colonize a planet or moon because the Earth might face destruction -- A man made disaster -- global warming being a good example -- or natural disaster could potentially destroy the planet. 

Although he believes humans can colonize the moon within 20 years, and establish a sufficient base on Mars within 40 years, humans "won't find anywhere as nice as Earth," unless we visit another solar system.  The moon looks to be like an ideal place for a potential new colony.  Not only does it appear to have everything needed to sustain humans, ice has also been found at its poles.

Nations have been thinking about colonizing other planets for years.  DailyTech earlier reported that NASA is working towards a permanent moon base that would be a stepping stone to allow astronauts to explore Mars firsthand.  Swedish researchers are also studying different ways to have a self-sustaining colony on the moon.

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By nrb on 6/15/2006 6:33:03 AM , Rating: 3
The moon looks to be like an ideal place for a potential moon base.
No kidding? :-)

I'm not convinced by Mr Hawking, I'm afraid. While it's quite possible that we will see some sort of major environmental catastrophe on Earth, you have to put these things in perspective and ask: what would Earth be like after such a catastrophe? Now matter how bad it got, it seems very unlikely that the surface of the Earth would end up more hostile to human survival than the surface of Mars. So long as that remains true, the idea that colonising another planet would enable us to avoid the effects of the catastrophe is just silly.

When terraforming becomes a technologically-realistic proposition, that will change things. But as long as we're still talking about living inside an air-tight dome, it'd be a lot easier to live inside the same dome on Earth.

RE: Hmmmmmm
By masher2 on 6/15/2006 9:17:39 AM , Rating: 2
> "While it's quite possible that we will see some sort of major environmental catastrophe on Earth"

Hawking isn't talking about simply an environmental catastrophe. The possibility of nuclear war, a killer virus (whether natural or engineered), a massive asteroid strike or nearby Gamma Ray Burst wiping out life altogether, a near-miss from a Kuiper-Belt object large enough to disrupt the orbit of the earth...the list goes on and on.

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke
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