For the last hundred years of its history, humanity has made a huge innovation leap. We learned to fly (at least with the help of aircraft and helicopters), build giant machines, treat incurable diseases, developed a computer, the Internet and smart gadgets. At the same time, we continue to systematically destroy ourselves: the constant wars (two of which were global) and the climate changes created by man – this is roughly how we can characterize the list of “interests” of current generations. Stephen Hawking, the famous theoretical physicist and popularizer of science, believes that in this situation, we have about 100 years left before the “judgment day” and we urgently need to come up with a way to leave this planet until the worst happened.
This is not the first time that Hawking gives such pessimistic forecasts. Over the past few years, he has frightened us with how super-intelligent artificial intelligence (AI) will put an end to humanity, and the first contact with a reasonable extraterrestrial civilization may be the last. In November last year, he said that we had 1,000 years left to leave Earth. Now this forecast has become even gloomier. Now the scientist takes us only 100 years. It’s really amazing what could have happened in six months, so that a person could change the point of view. Most likely, for Hawking himself, they were very disappointing, since the scientist decided to reduce the hypothetical remaining life of the Earth for 900 years.
More details on what Hawking makes such predictions on will be presented in a new documentary on the BBC television channel, which is released on June 15 and is called Expedition New Earth (“Expedition to the New Earth”). In this film, the scientist argues that humanity needs to become an interplanetary species within the next century, if it, of course, wants to survive.
Our days are numbered
According to Hawking, our days on Earth are numbered and there are many reasons for this: serious climate changes, the threat of asteroids, epidemics, overpopulation and famine, to name a few. The only way to survive? We must begin the colonization of other planets. And the sooner, the better. In 100 years, many things can really happen. In addition, we have already proved that for this amount of time it is possible to make many amazing scientific and high-tech discoveries. But can we become an interplanetary species in such a relatively short period of time?
The founder of Tesla and SpaceX companies Ilon Mask believes that this is possible. He even has a plan. Destination? Mars. At the current level of development of our technologies, we can not say that the Red Planet is so close to us. Nevertheless, Mask promises to land people on Mars by 2025 and establish a colony there by 2033. This fits perfectly with the time allotted to us by Hawking. To be honest, the Mask really wants to believe, but his plan looks too ambitious. At least for now. Perhaps we will be able to reach Mars and build a stable colony there for several decades. But by the year 2033? No matter how much I wanted to believe, but no.
Fortunately, not only does Mask work in this direction. The NASA aerospace agency is actively researching and developing a program of manned flights to Mars. The Red Planet also became interested in China. Who knows, perhaps, through joint efforts, we can accelerate our path to a new home.