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Stephen Hawking - Image courtesy GrayWizard.net
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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This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By shecknoscopy on 12/1/2006 6:56:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
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."

-SHEQ


"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference

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