Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, paralyzed by Lou Gehrig’s disease, floats during a zero-gravity flight; an apple, a tribute to Isaac Newton, drifts along with him. (By Steve Boxall)
Stephen Hawking is one of the coolest guys on Earth— for now. He’s crippled by Lou Gehrig’s disease, he’s 65 years old, and he says we’re all f*#&ed unless we get off the planet. Says Hawking:
Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers… I think the human race has no future if it doesn’t go into space. I therefore want to encourage public interest in space.
Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic hope to make that dream a reality for Mr. Hawking in 2009.