We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Anthony Devlin/PA Archive
Space Exploration

Stephen Hawking: We must explore space to ensure human survival

The world’s leading physicist says our existence depends on finding a new planet to live on. No pressure, then.

PHYSICIST STEPHEN HAWKING has urged the world’s governments to remain dedicated to space exploration – believing that humans will die out unless they find another planet to live on.

Hawking, now 71, told an audience that humans would not make it into the next millennium unless they found somewhere else to live – saying the ‘fragile’ planet Earth would be unable to sustain our existence.

“If you understand how the universe operates, you control it in a way,” he said, saying space exploration could not be allowed to fall down the lists of government priorities.

The British physicist made the comments while touring a stem cell laboratory at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles, where staff are working on slowing down the progression of motor neurone disease, a condition he has suffered from for 50 years.

The condition is irreversible and many people diagnosed with the condition live for longer than a decade. It attacks nerve cells in the brain and spiral cord, and as muscles weaken, most sufferers begin to encounter difficulty breathing.

Hawking remains able to communicate only by twitching his cheek – which he uses to control the computer that operates his trademark, monotone artificial voice – but still remains active in academia.

Additional reporting by AP

Video: Why Stephen Hawking was (slightly) unhappy about the Higgs boson

Read: Stephen Hawking turns 70: Here’s 7 of his best quotes

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.