Stephen Hawking has warned that the human race faces extinction within the current millennium unless mankind finds a way to inhabit other planets.
Speaking at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, the 71-year-old British physicist said human beings must escape their “fragile” planet and urged governments to continue investing in space exploration. The renowned scientist told his audience:
“We must continue to go into space for humanity. If you understand how the universe operates, you control it in a way. We won’t survive another 1,000 years without escaping our fragile planet.”
The global financial crisis has severely curtailed space exploration in recent years. NASA’s planetary science budget has just been slashed by $300 million, a cut that will significantly affect the agency’s search for habitable planets.
However, new information about Mars is still being discovered. On Monday, NASA concluded from Curiosity Rover’s findings that the Red Planet was slowly becoming colder due to losing much of its original atmosphere.
Russia has also joined the Mars race, signing a deal with the European Space Agency to become a full-fledged partner in the ExoMars project. This new initiative is an attempt to discover whether life exists on Mars. Eventually, it is hoped a manned mission can be sent there.
Hawking is best known for his groundbreaking studies of the Universe, particularly black holes and the origin of matter. In 1988, his book A Brief History of Time brought complex physics concepts to the masses and has sold 10 million copies worldwide.
What do you think about Stephen Hawkings’ prediction for mankind? Should we be investing greater resources into finding habitable planets?