Stephen Hawking: escape the planet in 100 years

From The Independent:

In “Expedition New Earth” – a documentary that debuts this summer as part of the BBC’s “Tomorrow’s World” science season – Hawking claims that Mother Earth would greatly appreciate it if we could gather our belongings and get out – not in 1,000 years, but in the next century or so…

“Professor Stephen Hawking thinks the human species will have to populate a new planet within 100 years if it is to survive,” the BBC said with a notable absence of punctuation marks in a statement posted online. “With climate change, overdue asteroid strikes, epidemics and population growth, our own planet is increasingly precarious…”

The BBC program gives Hawking a chance to wade into the evolving science and technology that may become crucial if humans hatch a plan to escape Earth and find a way to survive on another planet – from questions about biology and astronomy to rocket technology and human hibernation, the BBC notes.

Getting a colony started on Mars, Earth’s moon, or another moon in the nearby solar system within a hundred years doesn’t seem all that daunting to me. Whether it could be truly self-sufficient from Earth in that time frame is the real question. That seems like a tall order, considering how much our current civilization¬†depends on this planet’s natural gifts to get by. Our technology would have to improve a lot.

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