Renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking has been extremely vocal in recent months about his feelings that humanity needs to get off of Earth as soon as possible. With a troubled climate, ever growing population, and mounting risks of apocalypse at our own hands, Hawking has taken the stance that we'll need a new place to live as soon as 100 years from now. Now, the 75-year-old scientist is pushing for a return trip to our closest cosmic neighbor: the moon.
Speaking via live stream this week at the Starmus Festival, Hawking claimed that now is the time to start planning moon colonies, and that Mars should be the immediate successor once we've accomplished that. "We are running out of space, and the only place we can go to are other worlds," Hawking remarked. "It is time to explore other solar systems. Spreading out may be the only thing that saves us from ourselves. I am convinced that humans need to leave Earth."
Hawking also took the opportunity to lay out what he sees as the biggest risks for mankind's ultimate survival. Global warming, resource shortages, and overpopulation were all included, and while the award-winning scientist admitted that the idea of venturing to new star systems is not possible at this time, he maintained that Earth is simply not enough for humanity.
"The human race has existed as a separate species for about 2 million years," Hawking said. "Civilization began about 10,000 years ago, and the rate of development has been steadily increasing. If humanity is to continue for another million years, our future lies in boldly going where no one else has gone before."