It was not very long ago that the idea of putting a man on the moon was almost inconceivable. But that didn’t stop us from succeeding in doing just that.
At the time, it may have seemed like a ‘giant leap for mankind’ but if world-renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking is right then we may be in store for an even bigger leap.
During the recent Live from Space programme Stephen Hawking made some big predictions for space exploration.
He said we will have settlements on the moon ‘within 50 years’, and he believes there will be people living on Mars by 2100.
And as an extra incentive to progress in this direction, Hawking pointed out that if we fail to colonise new planets, the human race faces imminent extinction because of over-population and Earth’s limited natural resources.
Hawking, 72, said: “Our planet is an old world, threatened with an ever-expanding population and finite resources. We must anticipate these threats and have a plan B.
“If our species is to survive the next hundred years, let alone a thousand, it is imperative we voyage out into the blackness of space to colonise new worlds across the cosmos.
“If we follow this path, I have no doubt that this century will go down, in the history of humankind, as the true Space Age.”
Sunday night saw Channel 4’s Live from Space: Lap of the Planet programme, during which astronauts from the International Space Station (ISS) were broadcast live from orbit.
The ISS is the third brightest object in the night sky, after the sun and the moon, and can be seen with the naked eye on a clear night.
The ISS completed a lap of the earth in just 90 minutes.