Physicist Stephen Hawking has issued a dire ultimatum to humankind: start inhabiting extraterrestrial lands in the next century, or prepare to face extinction.
Speaking at London’s Royal Society on Friday, the eminent scientist urged humanity to redouble its efforts in “seeking alternative planets for possible habitation.”
This isn’t the first time the 75-year-old has hazarded a guess on when the clock will run out on our time on Earth.
Only six months ago, the Independent quoted him saying, “I don’t think we will survive another 1,000 years without escaping beyond our fragile planet” – which might make one wonder which events of the past six months provoked the celebrated Cambridge University professor to shrink his doomsday timeline by a factor of 10.
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Hawking’s thoughts on the matter are set to be featured in an upcoming BBC documentary called Expedition New Earth, starring him and two of his colleagues.
“Taking in the latest advances in astronomy, biology and rocket technology, they travel the world in search of answers. From the Atacama desert to the wilds of the North Pole, from plasma rockets to human hibernation, they discover a whole world of cutting edge research,” the BBC said in a press release.
“The journey shows that Prof. Hawking’s ambition isn’t as fantastical as it sounds – that science fact is closer to science fiction than we ever thought.”
Hawking also insisted Friday that he is far from alone in his view, and said other experts would elaborate on the importance of space colonization at the upcoming Starmus space sciences festival in Norway.