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Stephen Hawking: We Have 100 Years to Find a New Planet

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Humans have 100 years to find a new planet, or else become extinct, renowned physicist Stephen Hawking says in an upcoming BBC series.


Expedition New Earth, to air this summer, shows Hawking drastically changing a prediction he made last November at Oxford University Union, when he said, "I don't think we will survive another 1,000 years without escaping beyond our fragile planet." Now, Hawking says we only have 100 years.

Hawking has frequently warned about the dangers threatening our survival, including nuclear war, genetically engineered viruses and artificial intelligence. According to the BBC's media guide, he believes "climate change, overdue asteroid strikes, epidemics and population growth" have made Earth "increasingly precarious."

Hawking's perspective may sound like doom and gloom for Earth, but his new documentary focuses on finding out "if and how humans can reach for the stars and move to different planets."

With a team including engineering expert Danielle George and his former student Christophe Galfard, they travel the world to see how the latest astronomy, biology and rocket technology developments might lead to solutions.

"From the Atacama desert to the wilds of the North Pole, from plasma rockets to human hibernation, they discover a whole world of cutting edge research," the BBC said. "The journey shows that Prof. Hawking's ambition isn't as fantastical as it sounds—that science fact is closer to science fiction than we ever thought."

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