Stephen Hawking: space travel will save mankind and we should colonise other planets

Professor compared space exploration to ‘life insurance’ for the human race

We should colonise other planets to protect the human race, Stephen Hawking has said. Human aggression could bring civilisation and humanity to an end and space travel will give us somewhere else to go, he said.

Space represents the long term future of the human race and can act as “life insurance” for the species, Hawking said while escorting an American visitor around London’s Science Museum for a prize.

"Sending humans to the moon changed the future of the human race in ways that we don't yet understand," he said.

"It hasn't solved any of our immediate problems on planet Earth, but it has given us new perspectives on them and caused us to look both outward and inward.

"I believe that the long term future of the human race must be space and that it represents an important life insurance for our future survival, as it could prevent the disappearance of humanity by colonising other planets."

Hawking made the comments after telling his guest, Adaeze Uyanwah, that the human failing he would most like to correct is aggression, which could “destroy us all”. Uyanwah was in London after winning a competition to get her perfect day out in the capital.

Human aggression could bring a nuclear war that would end civilisation and perhaps the uman race, he said. Instead, humans should have more empathy, to bring “us together in a peaceful, loving state.

Hawking has warned before that artificial intelligence could bring humanity to its end.