Space key to human survival -- Hawking
The human race must colonise space within the next two centuries or it will become extinct, Stephen Hawking warned yesterday.
The renowned astrophysicist said he feared mankind was in great danger and its future "must be in space" if it was to survive. In an interview with website Big Think, he said threats to the existence of the human race such as the 1963 Cuban missile crisis were likely to increase in the future, and plans to handle them must be put in place now.
"We shall need great care and judgment to negotiate them successfully," he said.
"But I'm an optimist. If we can avoid disaster for the next two centuries, our species should be safe as we spread into space."
Mr Hawking also warned that population rises and finite resources on Earth meant life was becoming increasingly dangerous and the only way to build upon the progress made over the last century was to look to the stars.
He added: "That is why I'm in favour of manned, or should I say 'personed', space flight."