World renowned scientist Stephen Hawking has warned “the end of the world is nigh” and said we have got less than “600 years before a ball of fire” engulfs the Earth.
According to the Cambridge News
, Hawking warned that “overcrowding and energy consumption” could bring about an end to the planet within 600 years in a video appearance at the 2017 Tencent WE Summit in Beijing on November 5.
The Cambridge scientist advised, mankind should take a cue from the American TV series Star Trek and “boldly go where no one has gone before” – to save itself.
Professor Hawking sees an answer in the interstellar space travel programme Breakthrough Starshot – which is worth $100 million and was announced in 2016.
Hawking and Mark Zuckerberg sit on the project’s board.
Professor Hawking said: “The idea behind this innovation is to have the nanocraft ride on the light beam.
“Such a system could reach Mars in less than an hour, or reach Pluto in days, pass Voyager in under a week and reach Alpha Centauri in just over 20 years.”
Cambridge News further writes: “The Alpha Centauri star system, the closest star system to the Solar System, is 25 trillion miles [4.37 light years] away but with today’s fastest spacecraft, it would take about 30,000 years to get there.”
“Breakthrough Starshot aims to establish whether a gram-scale nanocraft, on a sail pushed by a light beam, can fly over a thousand times faster to reach the three-star system where astronomers estimate that there is a reasonable chance of an Earth-like planet existing.”