May 22, 2017 1:49 pm
Updated: May 22, 2017 3:03 pm

Humanity has 100 years to colonize other planets or die out: Stephen Hawking

File photo of Stephen Hawking on Aug. 29, 2012.

AP Photo/Matt Dunham, FILE

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.”

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“We are running out of space on Earth, and we need to break through the technological limitations preventing us [from] living elsewhere in the universe,” Hawking said.

READ MORE: U.S. to send people to Mars by 2030s: Barack Obama

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.

WATCH: Stephen Hawking looking forward to space trip with Richard Branson

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.”

READ MORE: New astronauts and a solar eclipse will have Canadians looking skyward in 2017

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.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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