News / Science & Technology

Hawking Gives Humans 1,000 Years to Escape Earth

Stephen Hawking, almost totally paralyzed since 1970 by ALS, enjoys a few moments of weightlessness during a flight aboard Zero Gravity Corp.’s modified Boeing 727. (Jim Campbell, Aero-News Network)
Stephen Hawking, almost totally paralyzed since 1970 by ALS, enjoys a few moments of weightlessness during a flight aboard Zero Gravity Corp.’s modified Boeing 727. (Jim Campbell, Aero-News Network)
VOA News
Famed astrophysicist Stephen Hawking warns that humans will need to go beyond the planet Earth if they are to survive as a species.

“We must continue to go into space for humanity,” Hawking told a gathering this week in Los Angeles, California. “We won’t survive another 1,000 years without escaping our fragile planet.”

Hawking, 71, has long been a proponent of space exploration.

Speaking at a 2008 ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the U.S. space agency, NASA, Hawking called for a new era in human space exploration, comparable, he said, to the European voyages to the New World more than 500 years ago.

“Spreading out into space will have an even greater effect," Hawking said. "It will completely change the future of the human race and maybe determine whether we have any future at all.”

Hawking was in Los Angeles this week for an appearance at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to see its research on slowing the progression of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. Hawking has suffered from the incurable, neurodegenerative condition for 50 years.

Since 1970, Hawking has been almost completely paralyzed by ALS. Confined to a wheelchair, he uses an advanced computer synthesizer to speak.

The renowned scientist has pioneered efforts to unlock secrets of the cosmos, revolutionizing astrophysics and capturing the imagination of millions in the process. He is perhaps most well-known for his book, A Brief History of Time, which has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.

Despite his disabilities, he continues to work, write and travel.  At the age of 65, he was invited aboard a special zero-gravity jet to fulfill his dream of experiencing the weightlessness of a space-faring astronaut. 

“It was amazing," Hawking said at the time. "The Zero-G part was wonderful, and the High-G part was no problem. I could have gone on and on. Space, here I come!”

Born in Oxford, England, in 1942, Hawking studied at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities. He became a math professor at Cambridge and held that post for more than 30 years.  In 2009, he left to head the Cambridge University Center for Theoretical Physics.

You May Like

China’s Influence Grows With New Infrastructure Bank

Multibillion-dollar China-backed and BRICS-supported Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seen as possible challenger to such lenders as IMF, World Bank More

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

Rabbi Michel Serfaty makes the rounds in his friendship bus to encourage dialogue and break down barriers between the two groups More

Post-deal Iran Leaders Need 'Economic Momentum' to Solidify

Economists say deal could inject more than $100 billion into coffers - not enough to entirely rescue ailing economy - but maybe adequate to create 'economic momentum' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
April 16, 2013 10:17 PM
SH is a great thinker, and no question, way ahead of most. We need to get ahead of the human overpopulation situation, by analyzing the feasiblity of regenerating an athmosphere on Mars. If there is water in the sub-surface polar regions of Mars, as indicated by the various projects/observations; the need to establish/modify (GM) hardy plant life, with chloropyl, to generate oxygen needs to be fully considered/tried; and by seeding the Martian polar regions, may be a good first step to test the project. Such a test, if it succeeds, may open the door to eventually colonizing the planet. It will probably take several hundred years to get the plants established and generating enough oxygen, to sustain an initial human population, given the lower light conditions and temperatures over the poles. The same methodology could be applied to other planets and moons which prove to have water. Having a second or third biosphere, I think, would be good insurance for the survival of the our and other selected earth species.

by: Chris Thomas Wakefield
April 16, 2013 3:07 AM
Re: "Hawking Gives Humans 1,000 Years to Escape Earth".
I admire Stephen Hawking and his accomplishments, but this recent comment is disappointing. Disappointing as it precludes grappling with human corporations raping the soil, the air and now SH is suggesting they move into space too.
No thought to allowing a dialogue with Earth to see what she wants is this emission from SH's mind. I guess we should expect this from a man with no operational body, I hate to say.

by: Zack from: Nairobi Kenya
April 12, 2013 12:08 PM
I COMPLETELY AGREE

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs