Stephen Hawking: Return To Moon Would “Elevate Humanity”

Prof. Stephen Hawking (2017 Photo)
Prof. Stephen Hawking, CH, CBE, FRS, FRSA

Speaking at the Starmus Festival in Trondheim, Norway, the physicist Stephen Hawking has called for space-faring nations to return astronauts to the Moon by 2020.

“To leave Earth demands a concerted global approach,” Prof. Hawking told festival attendees. “Everyone should join in. We need to rekindle the excitement of the early days of space travel in the Sixties.”

“Whenever we make a great new leap, such as the Moon landings,” he continued, “we bring people and nations together, usher in new discoveries, and new technologies.”

ESA Moon Base Model (Illustration)
Artist’s conception of the ESA’s proposed Moon Base

According to a BBC News report, Prof. Hawking explained that human space travel is essential for the future of humanity precisely because the Earth is under threat from climate change as well as diminishing natural resources.

“We are running out of space and the only places to go to are other worlds,” Prof. Hawking explained. “It is time to explore other solar systems. Spreading out may be the only thing that saves us from ourselves.”

At this time, the European Space Agency (ESA) is collaborating with Russia on a planned Moon base, while China has also announced it intends to send astronauts to Luna. The United States’ space agency, NASA, has no current plan to return to the Moon — a Mars mission is in the works — while India is considering the potential of sending humans to the Moon. The Luna Society and several other private organizations also have ambitious plans for exploring and developing the Moon and its resources.

Read the complete BBC News article here.

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