London: Professor Stephen Hawking, who has decoded some of the greatest mysteries of the universe, predicted that humans will colonise Mars – but not for at least a century.
The physicist said it is ‘essential’ for man to spread across the galaxy in case Earth is destroyed suggesting that it was ‘almost certain’ that a disaster ‘such as nuclear war or global warming’ would obliterate the planet within a thousand years.
“It is essential that we colonise space. I believe that we will eventually establish self-sustaining colonies on Mars and other bodies in the solar system, but not within the next 100 years,” the Daily Mail quoted Professor Hawking as telling BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on the eve of his 70th birthday.
“I am optimistic that progress in science and technology will eventually enable humans to spread beyond the solar system and into the far reaches of the universe,” he added.
Professor Hawking also gave his views on the recent CERN claims that neutrinos can travel faster than the speed of light, saying that he didn’t believe the results of its experiments.
However, he does believe in the possibility of multiple universes.
“Our best bet for a theory of everything is M-theory. One prediction of M-theory is that there are many different universes, with different values for the physical constants,” he said.
He further claimed that finding intelligent life elsewhere in the universe would be ‘the biggest scientific discovery ever’.