Steven Hawking Has The Answer!I truly believe this man may be the most lucid individual on the face of the Earth:
Hawking, in an exclusive CNN interview, said that if humans can survive the next 200 years and learn to live in space, then our future will be bright.
"I believe that the long-term future of the human race must be in space," said Hawking, who is almost completely paralyzed by the illness ALS.
"It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster on planet Earth in the next 100 years, let alone next thousand, or million. The human race shouldn't have all its eggs in one basket, or on one planet. Let's hope we can avoid dropping the basket until we have spread the load."
I have noted before that I truly believe we will cease to exist as a species unless we manage to make it to space in a sustainable way.....The only thing not defined by Hawking is the extent of this move in to space.
For my part, it must be in large leaps out of our own Earth/Sun system. Of course, a temporary post on one of the planets or moons far from Earth is better than nothing. IF we have a sustainable station with adequate population and self-sufficient in and of itself on a distant planet in our solar system, then a rogue asteroid which destroyed life on Earth would not end mankind. As of today such an asteroid could literally obliterate us as a species....or at the very least drive us back into the dark ages.
I picture the advent of permanent cities in space.....a plan envisioned by James Blish decades ago. These cities could roam the cosmos without being dependent upon landing for fuel or "supplies". Blish's four "Cities In Flight" books have been republished in 2000 AS A COLLECTION.
I believe I read these books back about 1970 or thereabout. There was a 2nd book which comes ti mind, but vaguely, which concerned giant wheels in space....sort of miles-wide versions of the earlier envisioned space vehicles which were wheels. Cannot remember the author nor the name, but do remember that even in space the cities became not only independent of one-another, but also competitors.
Perhaps I'll re-read them again soon. I do recall that despite the thoughts on such a city, etc. the science behind the actual cities was a bit archaic! As I recall, his cities were actual Earth cities which were domed then literally escaped from Earth as a chunk of terra firma!