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Mastermind Stephen Hawking has warned that the human race will perish on Earth after we turn it into a sizzling fireball in less than 600 years, reported The New York Post (US).
He declared that humans must “boldly go where no one has gone before” if we fancy continuing our species for another million years.
If we don’t, the world will become overcrowded and increased energy consumption will turn the planet into a ball of fire because of our soaring energy consumption as the population rises.
Making a video appearance at the Tencent WE Summit in Beijing on Sunday, Hawking appealed to investors to back his plans to travel to the closest star outside of our solar system, with the hope that a livable planet might be orbiting it.
Alpha Centauri is one of the closest star systems at 4.3 light-years away.
Scientists believe it may have exo-planets that could foster life, just like Earth.
Hawking is backing Breakthrough Starshot, a venture to reach this system within two decades using a tiny aircraft that could travel at the speed of light.
He said: “The idea behind this innovation is to have the nanocraft on the light beam.”
“Such a system could reach Mars in less than an hour, or reach Pluto in days, pass Voyager in under a week and reach Alpha Centauri in just over 20 years.”
If successful, a generation may be able to see the probe reach the star.
Starshot Breakthrough’s director, the former head at NASA’s Ames Research Center, also made an appearance in Beijing.
He said: “Maybe if all goes well, sometime a little after the middle of the century, we’ll have our first picture of another planet that may be life-bearing orbiting the nearest star.”
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