Science

Stephen Hawking says Humans Risk Extinction in 100 Years Unless They Colonize Mars or Another Planet

By | May 06, 2017 10:15 AM EDT
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100 years?

NASA's plan to get to Mars. (Photo : NASA)

Renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking warns humanity faces extinction over the next 100 years unless it finds a way to colonize another planet -- likely Mars -- and become a multi-planetary species.

He previously warned human extinction would occur in 1,000 years and his accelerated estimate seems to border on paranoia since it's apparent even to him humanity can't accomplish this fantastic technological leap in only a century.

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"Although the chance of a disaster to planet Earth in a given year may be quite low, it adds up over time, and becomes a near certainty in the next thousand or ten thousand years," said Hawking in early 2016.

And to support his new fear, he claims Earth is becoming "increasingly precarious" because of threats arising from "climate change, overdue asteroid strikes, epidemics and population growth."

Others, however, find it odd Hawking made this dire prediction ahead of his upcoming BBC documentary called "Stephen Hawking: Expedition New Earth" set to air later this year.

A press release promoting this documentary has Hawking saying he will "present his predictions that the human race only has 100 years before we need to colonize another planet."

That other planet can only be Mars, and only Elon Musk and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have plans of establishing human colonies on Mars.

In June 2016, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk revealed intriguing information about what his space transport company plans to do after becoming the first to land people on Mars. That historic landing on Mars by astronauts aboard the company's Mars Colonial Transporter will happen in 2025, said Musk.

After that landing, the key task facing SpaceX will be to establish a supply lifeline to ensure the survival of the company's Martian colonists. This undertaking will involve establishing a regular cargo run to Mars, with colonists and cargo making the six to eight month journey aboard the company's Falcon Heavy rockets still under development.

"Essentially what we're saying is we're establishing a cargo route to Mars," Musk said.

"It's a regular cargo route. You can count on it. It's going happen every 26 months. Like a train leaving the station.

And this February, the tiny but oil-rich UAE announced its grandiose plans of becoming the first country on Earth to build the first habitable Earth city on Mars by 2117.

In sheer size, scope, ambition and brashness, the UAE's City on Mars (yet unnamed) dwarfs any existing plan to colonize Mars. NASA and SpaceX only have plans to establish Martian outposts manned by about a dozen scientists.

The UAE will build a city on Mars probably housing hundreds of persons as part of the "Mars 2117 Project" in collaboration with specialized international organizations and scientific institutes.

The Mars 2117 Project was made public by Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

"The landing of people on other planets has been a longtime dream for humans. Our aim is that the UAE will spearhead international efforts to make this dream a reality," said Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid.

 

 

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