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Hawking for Colonization June 6, 2008

Posted by Nick Azer in gravity, NASA, Robert A. Heinlein.

Recently, at an event marking NASA’s 50th anniversary, the legendary physicist Stephen Hawking joined the ranks of those vocally supporting Lunar and Martian colonization.

And then some. Calling for the world to “devote about 10 times as much as 0.25% of its financial resources to space”, as well as an acceleration of the efforts to get man on Mars (currently looking to be in the early 2030s), he also noted that any long-term colony should have a significant gravity field to avoid microgravity health issues (bone loss, etc.), often cited as a concern for moon colonies and a central feature of Robert A. Heinlein‘s classic novel The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

The 66-year-old Hawking is brilliant, yet near-paralyzed (he still considers himself “lucky“), and is widely known for his research with theoretical cosmology (the structure and design of the universe), quantum gravity (beyond the description of a simple parentheses), and black holes. Having such high-profile supporters speaking out now asserts how timely colonization is for this era and generation; as colonization picks up even more speed, we may see potentially even more vocal supporters.


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