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Stephen Hawking - Image courtesy
We must leave this planet before we get hit by rocks or become part of a Ben Affleck movie

In a rare interview, Stephen Hawking said to the BBC that humans must move to another solar system in order to ensure the survival of the species. “Once we spread out into space and establish colonies, our future should be safe,” he said. Hawking made a similar suggestion back in June.


He believes that life on Earth could be wiped out by a nuclear disaster or a massive asteroid hitting the planet causing Armageddon with its Deep Impact. He said that, since we have no similar planets on our solar system, we would “have to go to another star” to find a suitable habitat.


Before humans could even dream of such a move, we would need to develop a viable means of transportation. Hawking proposed “matter/anti-matter annihilation” propulsion. He explained: “When matter and anti-matter meet up, they disappear in a burst of radiation. If this was beamed out of the back of a spaceship, it could drive it forward … It would take a lot of energy to accelerate to near the speed of light.”


Even at near-light speeds, it would take six years to reach a new star. While Hawking, 64, may not see our escape from Earth in his lifetime, he still wishes to see the planet from space.  “My next goal is to go into space; maybe Richard Branson will help me.”


Hawking was recently awarded the Royal Society’s Copley medal, their highest honor, for his work in theoretical physics and cosmology leading to classifications and further knowledge of black holes.


Lord Rees, president of the Royal Society, stated “Stephen Hawking has contributed as much as anyone since Einstein to our understanding of gravity. This medal is a fitting recognition of an astonishing research career spanning more than 40 years.”


In a statement issued by Hawking after learning of the award he said “This is a very distinguished medal, it was awarded to Darwin, Einstein and (Francis) Crick. I am honored to be in their company.”

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By lennylim on 12/1/2006 5:26:31 PM , Rating: 4
If we have antimatter, we'll use it in bombs, and wipe out the human race, way before we have interstellar travel.

By AxemanFU on 12/1/2006 6:22:03 PM , Rating: 3
What's the use of "winning" if you aren't around to enjoy the victory. Amazingly enough, I think it is very likely we're too self interested as whole to actually go through with an action that could possibly be a complete mutually assured destruction. Suicide to win...there are only a few people that try it...and it is never a whole population because most people are too rational, and no single weapon is yet that powerful. Maybe we should all watch Dr. Strangelove and contemplate this...heh.

By milomnderbnder21 on 12/1/2006 9:33:43 PM , Rating: 3
Well, only the people with their finger on the button actually need to be that crazy.

You know, crazy enough to think something like the rapture is near, or that they shall have virgins waiting for them once they've completed their mission to kill some folks that don't agree with them.

Oh, wait...There are a bunch of people like that. Especially in america, for the first batch. Scary.

By Christopher1 on 12/2/2006 2:58:47 PM , Rating: 1
I have to agree. There are a LOT of religious loonies out there who advocate bombing with nuclear weapons Muslims and other people all around the world who do not agree with their view of the world, and who don't worship their god.

They basically DO have their finger on the button right now, because Bush is one of them. The only reason that he HASN'T pushed the button yet is because if he tried to, the military officers around him would stop him and have him committed.

By shecknoscopy on 12/1/2006 6:56:19 PM , Rating: 2
If we have antimatter, we'll use it in bombs, and wipe out the human race, way before we have interstellar travel.

Oh, we've totally got antimatter. Anyone who's ever taken a PET scan has been exposed to positrons - the antimatter equivalent of our good buddy the electron. It's not even that hard to contain them, as a magnetic field'd work just as well on positive charges as on negative. Heck, we've come so far as to making anti-hydrogen as well (though it, obviously, couldn't be contained with magnets). However, it'll be a while before we see comerically available anti-hydrogen based anti-cars. See also my documentary, "Who annihilated the Anti-Car?"

Actually, don't see it, it's mostly filler I culled from stock footage of "Small Wonder."


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