Stephen Hawking has predicted that humanity has to leave Earth and occupy another planet within the next 100 years in order to survive.
It’s a hard pill to swallow, but those who have been keeping up with what’s happening around the world should already know the possible culprits: nuclear war, climate change, biological epidemics, overdue asteroid strikes, and more. As Hawking himself said in his upcoming BBC show Expedition New Earth, planet Earth is growing “increasingly precarious,” as reported by the Chicago Tribune.
“Professor Stephen Hawking thinks the human species will have to populate a new planet within 100 years if it is to survive.With climate change, overdue asteroid strikes, epidemics and population growth, our own planet is increasingly precarious.”
BBC’s Stephen Hawking: Expedition New Earth, which will be part of the network’s Tomorrow’s World science season, will show the renowned theoretical physicist working with engineering expert Danielle George and former student, Christophe Galfard, to find out if humanity has enough technological expertise and resources to bring humans to an inhabitable planet within the next hundred years.
It was only a few months ago when Stephen Hawking predicted that humanity has to escape Earth within the next 1,000 years in order to survive. This piece of news was pretty grim, but it’s far less troubling — equivalent to being given a couple of weeks notice before a school project deadline. But 100 years? That’s one human lifetime. And if we don’t heed Hawking’s warning, our kids and future grandchildren won’t have much to look forward to in this mortal coil.
“We must… continue to go into space for the future of humanity,” the 74-year-old Cambridge professor told the audience at the Oxford University Union.
“I don’t think we will survive another 1,000 years without escaping beyond our fragile planet,” he continued.
Is Stephen Hawking suggesting we go to Mars?
In mulling over the idea of humanity escaping Earth and inhabiting another planet, the first thing that usually comes to mind is Mars. Is Stephen Hawking suggesting it’s about time we pool all our efforts and resources into some sort of Mars colonization project? He did not implicitly say so, and perhaps he might mention it in his upcoming BBC show, but for those who aren’t aware, yes, there is indeed a Mars project being undertaken right now.
That project is called the Mars One mission.
The organizers of the Mars One mission sent out an invite to those who want to be part of humanity’s first expedition to Mars, which is set to launch in 2024, The Guardian reports. Over 200,000 people applied to be one of the few lucky ones to leave Earth and live the rest of his or her life on Mars. The selection process is rigorous, involving filmed interviews, group challenges, and simulation programs. The final trial reportedly will place a few remaining hopefuls in a controlled environment that simulates the red planet’s harsh conditions. At the end of the selection process, Mars One organizers will select 24 trainees, all of whom will be divided into six groups of four.
Do we have enough resources to ensure that the Mars One mission becomes successful?
The Dutch non-profit organization is already raising funds for the mission by way of broadcasting rights, sponsorship deals, crowdfunding, donations, and licensing intellectual property rights from inventions. The first Mars mission, which will send a spacecraft carrying two men and two women to Mars, will reportedly cost $6 billion.
Grooming Mars for human habitation
A bevy of missions is required before we can send the first humans to Mars. Organizers are planning to send a communications lander to the red planet in 2018. In 2020, am “intelligent” rover will be sent there to scope out a good landing site. In 2022, six cargo missions will be launched to install solar panels and life support units on the red planet to make it habitable for humans.
Of course, there’s much work to be done even if the Mars One mission becomes successful. But this first step is crucial for humanity to survive in the next 1,000 years, at least if going by Stephen Hawking’s predictions.
Do you think Stephen Hawking was on point when he said that humans have to escape Earth within the next hundred years in order to survive? Is the Mars One mission a step in the right direction as far as the survival of humanity is concerned?
[Featured Image by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images]