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.”
quote: Hawking proposed “matter/anti-matter annihilation” propulsion.
quote: And then of course when we get there, will the local aliens feel happy for us to invade their planets?
quote: (And yes I understand that in relativistic equations mass and length are undefined, but the limit of the equations at that point suggest that this would be the case.)
quote: Even in a vacuum if you were to make contact with a small particle, even the size of sand it would destroy your ship.
quote: If we have antimatter, we'll use it in bombs, and wipe out the human race, way before we have interstellar travel.
quote: Who really knows how long the Human race can last for.
quote: Recent evidence shows that the Andromeda galaxy is on a collision course with the Milky Way and we could see a collision in 2-3 billion years or so
quote: Your source for this? All evidence and discussion I've ever seen says the galaxies are ALL moving away from each other (red shift). I'd think if the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies were moving towards each other (blue shift), I'd have heard of it.
quote: Recent evidence shows that the Andromeda galaxy is on a collision course with the Milky Way and we could see a collision in 2-3 billion years or so.
quote: I fail to see how any lifeforms bigger than an ant could survive the acceleration of riding on an atomic explosion... unless your asteroid weighed a whole lot, maybe.
quote: 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.
quote: We must leave this planet before [b]get get[/b] hit by rocks or become part of a Ben Affleck movie
quote: ... hit by rocks or become part of a Ben Affleck movie
quote: AN EXTRAORDINARY "hyperspace" engine that could make interstellar space travel a reality by flying into other dimensions is being investigated by the United States government.
The hypothetical device, which has been outlined in principle but is based on a controversial theory about the fabric of the universe, could potentially allow a spacecraft to travel to Mars in three hours and journey to a star 11 light years away in just 80 days, according to a report in today's New Scientist magazine.