Wednesday 13 December 2017

Stephen Hawking will travel to space on board Richard Branson's ship, professor says

'I thought no one would take me', the cosmologist and physicist said

Virgin Galactic of the Virgin Spaceship Unity (VSS Unity) and inset Stephen Hawking
Virgin Galactic of the Virgin Spaceship Unity (VSS Unity) and inset Stephen Hawking

Andrew Griffin

Stephen Hawking is going to go to space.

The cosmologist and physicist will leave the Earth on board Richard Branson's spaceship, he has said.

Professor Hawking told Good Morning Britain that he'd never dreamed he'd be able to head into space. But "Richard Branson has offered me a seat on Virgin Galactic, and I said yes immediately", he said.

Richard Branson's spaceflight company, Virgin Galactic, hopes soon to carry people into space on commercial missions. Mr Branson had suggested that he might be able to complete a flight in 2009, but the plan has been thrown off by a range of problems and disasters.

In a wide-ranging interview, he said that his "three children have brought me great joy - and I can tell you what will make me happy, to travel in space".

Professor Hawking also discussed Donald Trump, who he said was a "demagogue" and made him fear that he might never be welcome in the US. ""His priority will be to satisfy his electorate who are neither liberal, nor that well-informed," he said.

He also criticised Jeremy Corbyn, who he said had allowed himself to be portrayed "a left-wing extremist, which he’s not". Because of the media portrayals, he said there was not much chance that Mr Corbyn would ever win an election, but that he would continue to support the Labour party.

And he said that if Brexit must happen, it can't happen in the "isolated and inward-looking" way that "the right wing of the Conservative Party want". He warned politicians that they should ensure that Britain keeps as many links as possible with Europe and the rest of the world, and said that leaving Europe "threatens Britain’s status as a world-leader in science and innovation".

Independent News Service

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