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Stephen Hawking says mankind’s survival depends on manned space exploration

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Atheist physicist Stephen Hawking says there’s no hope for mankind here on Earth.

We face mass extinction unless we head for the stars, he told the Canadian Press wire service this weekend while promoting his new five-part television series, “Brave New World” on the Discovery cable channel.

Stephen Hawking

“Stephen says that there are only so many resources on earth, and with our constant population expansion and environmental changes, space really is the next frontier if we want to live at the same level,” writes Ciara Famble for the website Glittarazzi.

“Our genetic code still carries the selfish and aggressive instincts that were of survival advantage in the past. It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand or million,” Hawking told Canadian Press reporter Cassandra Szklarski,  according to the Winnipeg Free Press. “Our only chance of long-term survival is not to remain lurking on planet Earth, but to spread out into space.”

Hawking says that between our growing population, use of finite resources and our genetic code we need to colonize outer space and soon, reports Susan Wilson for the website Tech.Blorge.

“We are entering an increasingly dangerous period of our history,” said Hawking. “Our population and our use of the finite resources of planet Earth are growing exponentially, along with our technical ability to change the environment for good or ill.”

“But, Houston, we have a problem,” notes Wilson. “Funding for space exploration is running into the same financial landmines as everything else. Even though the U.S. was the first country to put a man on the Moon, they might not be the first to colonize it. It looks like that honor may go to the Chinese according to China Daily.”

Then there are such problems as solar radiation — which once a spacecraft moves beyond Earth’s magnetic field will likely prove fatal to astronauts. Weightlessness on an extended trip is also a serious problem — since atrophy of astronauts’ muscles and bones renders them unable to walk even after the short trip to the nearest planet, Mars.

Even so, Hawking said he favors manned — or as he termed it in the interview, “personed” — space flight and encourages further study into how to make space colonization possible.



  • http://N/A Laurence Ringo

    With all due respect to Mr.Hawking,I’m afraid this is it,sir.I noticed that for all your celebrated”genius”,you offer no practical solutions to our planet-wide dilemma;so…what’s your’re point? As has been duly noted,we can barely get past the Moon,so what as-yet unknown world do you propose we hie ourselves to? And you atheists claim theists(usually Christians)live in a fantasy world!I’m afraid science fiction will remain just that,fiction.-humanity will never leave this planet.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment David

    It is helpful to our entire society that Stephen Hawking is at the very least attempting to open the matter to having wider public discourse. While the article duly noted – unfairly – that we can barely get past the Moon, please consider that no one has even tried since the Apollo program. Secondly, the author editorializes on the issues of radiation and microgravity. While these are real issues, there are real engineering solutions that have already been proposed – it’s just a matter of deciding to invest in testing them and to invest sending people to live off Earth or not. This investment would certainly create a lot of new and interesting jobs!

  • http://forums.delphiforums.com/Nelson Tenton Horton

    Stephen Hawkins is a most observant person..and has accomplished so very much during his lifetime. He is well worth listening to…to say the least.
    We have one other chance for survival..and that is to educate our world population in the great value of Human Cooperation. Most of our religions need to be re-written…with WISDOM being the guide. They are causing many of the wars on our PLanet Earth today. We need more faith in ourselves.

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