Stephen Hawking says humans need to leave Earth within the next 100 years or face extinction

Source: Justin Tallis/Getty Images

Um, Elon Musk might want to hurry up and get us to Mars with his SpaceX program already. 

Why, you ask? Stephen Hawking, a world-renowned physicist, says it's almost time for humans to bid farewell to their home planet.

In the upcoming BBC documentary Expedition New Earth, Hawking suggests humans have 100 years to colonize elsewhere or prepare for the extinction of our species.

Yikes.

Stephen Hawking at a press conference in New York City to announce Breakthrough Starshot, a space exploration initiative.
Source: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

A hundred years is a lot sooner than Hawking's previous predictions. In November, he gave a similar warning — but said we had a comparatively lengthy 1,000 years to find a new spot to carry on the future of humankind: 

"Although the chance of disaster to planet Earth in a given year may be quite low, it adds up over time, and becomes a near certainty in the next 1,000 or 10,000 years ... By that time, we should have spread out into space and to other stars, so a disaster on Earth would not mean the end of the human race."

So where are we going to go? Thankfully, Musk has said humans should make it to Mars in the near future.

"If things go according to plan, we should be able to launch people probably in 2024 with arrival in 2025," he said, according to Time.

The upcoming documentary series with Hawking is a reboot of BBC's Tomorrow's World. Per Tony Hall, director-general of the BBC:

“We’ve come together behind a simple, and very bold ambition — to equip all of us with the knowledge and understanding we need to make sense of our lives and the future ... Whether it’s the rise of robotics or the demise of antibiotics, traveling to Mars or the arrival of 3D printed food, science is changing the world at an extraordinary pace.”

Let's just hope science changes the world fast enough for our species to escape it.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Chris Sosa

Chris Sosa is a journalist and political analyst based in New York City. He can be reached at csosa@mic.com.

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