Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, 71, believes that people will become extinct within 1,000 years, if they do not find an alternative to our “fragile” planet.
Hawking made this ominous statement during a speech at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and called for mankind to pursue the further exploration of space in order to prevent the extinction of our species and secure our future.
The world-famous scientist, who is on the board of an international think tank intended to protect humanity from futuristic threats, said: “We must continue to go into space for humanity. If you understand how the universe operates, you control it in a way…we won’t survive another 1,000 years without escaping our fragile planet.”
With the recent global financial crisis however, space exploration has been subject to major spending cuts, with NASA’s planetary science budget which is seen by many as crucial to finding habitable planets, cut by $300 million in 2013.
Hawking was at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to visit a stem cell lab which is dedicated to treating Lou Gehrig’s disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) which Hawking himself has suffered from for the last 50 years.
Director of the ALS program at Cedars-Sinai, Dr. Robert Baloh, said he was unable to explain how Stephen Hawking had lived so long as a sufferer of this incurable neurological disorder. Usually people diagnosed with ALS rarely survive more than a dozen years after contracting the disease.
Speaking about how he deals with his severe health condition, Hawking said: “However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.”