1. Jack The Ripper
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    Jack The Ripper Banned

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    Hawking says humans must colonise other planets

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Jack The Ripper, Dec 5, 2006.

    LONDON (Reuters) - Renowned cosmologist Stephen Hawking, author of the best-selling "A Brief History of Time," said on Thursday humans must colonise other planets in different solar systems or face extinction.

    However, the wheelchair-bound Cambridge University physicist who has a crippling muscle disease said this would require spaceships using technology similar to the "warp drives" of TV science fiction show "Star Trek".


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    "The long-term survival of the human race is at risk as long as it is confined to a single planet," Hawking told BBC Radio.
    "Sooner or later disasters such as an asteroid collision or a nuclear war could wipe us all out.

    "But once we spread out into space and establish independent colonies, our future should be safe," said Hawking, who was due to receive the world's oldest award for scientific achievement, the Copley medal, from Britain's Royal Society on Thursday.

    He said this would mean travelling to hospitable planets orbiting another star, a journey that would take 50,000 years using the chemical fuel rockets that took man to the moon.

    He suggested Star Trek-style propulsion could help solve the problem.

    "Science fiction has developed the idea of warp drive, which takes you instantly to your destination," he said. "Unfortunately, this would violate the scientific law which says that nothing can travel faster than light."

    However by using "matter/antimatter annihilation", velocities just below the speed of light could be reached, making it possible to reach the next star in about six years.

    "It wouldn't seem so long for those on board," he said.

    Hawking, 64, a father of three and Cambridge's Lucasian professor of mathematics, has written several books that examine what the future holds.

    In October he said he was writing a new book "The Grand Design", to look at how and why the universe was created.

    The scientist, who rarely gives interviews and can now only communicate using a computerised voice synthesizer, revealed he also wanted to try out space travel himself.

    "I am not afraid of death but I'm in no hurry to die. My next goal is to go into space," said Hawking, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease at 21 and told by doctors he had only a few years to live.

    "Maybe Richard Branson will help me," he said, referring to the entrepreneur who has set up a travel agency to take private individuals on space flights from 2008.
     
  2. The Freshmaker
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    The Freshmaker <insert obscure pop culture reference> Contributor

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    I love Stephen Hawking. I will read anything he has written or has had a hand in.

    That aside, I have always been big on the idea of space travel. I firmly believe that if we weren't spending so much time fighting with each other, we could have had people on Mars already.

    I like Hawking's ideas of colonizing other solar systems. I think that with enough research and funding, we can get there one day. However, it'll probably be a while before we develop that kind of technology, and even when we do send man outside this solar system, we don't know exactly what we will find out there. Maybe we should start by looking closer to home.

    I have also been reading up on the possibility of terraforming Mars, and I am totally for it. Though it would take centuries before Mars could be considered a hospitable environment, we could have research stations and maybe even colonies within a single century. I think that terraforming is a strong possibility that not enough people are taking seriously. When I'm through college, this is definitely something I want to be involved in furthering.
     
  3. Spherical Time
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    Spherical Time Contributing Member

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    I agree with him.

    Now all we need is an Alcubierre drive.
     
  4. Robert
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    There's nothing new about what Hawking is quoted as saying above. It's pretty obvious when you think about it for a nanosecond.
     
  5. poetryliberates
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    poetryliberates Banned

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    if we were meant to colonise other planets, we would already be there, but no, we were designed to exist on the planet we were all placed on. the fact that it has become unliveable, is our own doing.we made our bed, and in it, we shall lie
     
  6. ariella
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    ariella Contributing Member

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    Ahh but maybe we have already been on other planets and destroyed their solar systems like we are slowly doing to Earth, maybe it is a good thing we spend more time fighting than trying to put people on mars, mankind is destroying this planet out of greed so I say let us all suffer for our own stupidity.
     
  7. Robert
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    Why? If at some point man is to colonise other systems, there would be a pre-colonisation period in which what you say above would appear true. Instead, it just sounds short-sighted. It's possible that man might eventually colonise other systems using technology not currently available. We've barely scratched the surface of our own system yet, but give us time.

    The same argument could have been made for visiting the moon a hundred years ago, "If we were meant to visit the moon, we would already be there."

    It hasn't become unliveable. Billions of people are living on it right now.

    Cheers,
    Rob
     
  8. Max Vantage
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    Max Vantage Banned

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    Excellent article Jack t. Rip.

    I read this as well a couple of days ago. However, I do have some negative hangups to all of this.
    That mankind has not conquered its sense of self-destructive behaviour (whatever that actually means as we haven't actually destroyed ourselves....maybe 'yet'.) What Ultimate Insurance Policy can we guarantee that we simply won't repeat our behaviours here on Earth on any other planet?

    Hell, we'll still have wars and destructive politics wherever we go. Unless we grow smarter and evolve drastcally I doubt we'd change no matter how far into deep space we travel and colonise.

    You have not heard of light bending? :confused:

    Or bending space and time to create an ultra dynamic propulsion drive system? :confused:
     
  9. The Freshmaker
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    [​IMG]
     

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