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Monday, 9 August 2010

Stephen Hawking: mankind must move to outer space within a century

The human race must look to outer space within the next century or it will become extinct, Professor Stephen Hawking has warned. The renowned astrophysicist said he fears mankind is in great danger and its future "must be in space" if it is to survive.

In an interview he said threats to the existence of the human race such as war, resource depletion and overpopulation meant it was at its greater risk ever. Although a long advocate of colonising space in order to continue man's reign, this is his direst warning to date.

"It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand or million," he told the website Big Think. "Our only chance of long-term survival is not to remain inward looking on planet Earth but to spread out into space. We have made remarkable progress in the last hundred years. But if we want to continue beyond the next hundred years, our future is in space. That is why I'm in favour of manned, or should I say 'personed', space flight."

My question is whether we will again make a mess of any future planets or stars that we invade and colonise? Or should that be more like "how long" will it take before me mess up our existence elsewhere? We may be a special species when compared to the other animals on planet earth, but we are also the only species that can't seem to co-exist with other species. We have become so greedy we destroy the very fabric of our natural surroundings so that we can no longer inhabit it as well as the other species which have probably been there a heck of a lot longer.

Taken in this light, is there any point in space exploration at all and wouldn't it be better to work on the problem that caused this need to migrate in the first place? Human greed?

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