If the human race wants to avoid going extinct, we need to be prepared to leave Earth in the next 100 years, says renowned theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking.

stephen hawking going to space

There are lots of ways a species can go extinct — be it due to an asteroid collision, climate change, nuclear war, large-scale global epidemic, gamma ray burst, or some other destructive force of nature. Hawking argues that if we don’t want to go down the same way as the dinosaurs did 66 million years ago, we should better be working on a contingency plan while seeking to become a multi-planetary species as soon as possible.

An important step in that direction would be to set lunar bases in the next 30 years while simultaneously preparing to send humans to Mars by 2025, he noted.

Hawking added that humans need to plan for another Moon landing by the year 2020. In fact, even American President Donald Trump seems to believe that NASA should work toward making the next Moon-landing mission possible by 2020. The Chinese, as well as the European Space Agency, have set similar goals for themselves.

Image by: NASA Goddard’s Scientific Visualization Studio

“The human race has existed a separate species for about two million years. Civilization became about 10,000 years ago, and the rate of development has been steadily increasing. If humanity is to continue for another million years it relies on boldly going where no one has gone before. I hope for the best. I have to. We have no other option.” Hawking stated, as reported by The Telegraph.

Hawking pointed out that the Moon and Mars are the best landing spots to get started with the initiative. He also suggested that there should also plans in place to go to Proxima-B, a planet in our cosmic next-door neighbor Alpha Centauri system.