Space Race and the Human Race

Caitlin Trude  |  Editor-in-Chief

Although “The Theory of Everything” garnered a few Oscar nominations, the real-life Stephen Hawking has some theories that have less to do with his past love life and more to do with the future of humanity.

“The human failing I would most like to correct is aggression,” the astrophysicist said to guest of honor and California native Adaeze Uyanwah during a mid-February guided tour at the Science Museum in London. “It may have had survival advantage in caveman days, to get more food, territory or a partner with whom to reproduce, but now it threatens to destroy us all.”

While some may reference the Beatles song “All You Need is Love” as the answer to life’s necessities, Hawking suggested that space travel may be the actual answer to sustaining human life. He cited man’s first exploration of the moon as an example of how society has learned to consider all the possibilities concerning life on and beyond Earth.

According to Discovery News, NASA is set to relaunch (no pun intended) the space station before the end of 2017, ending the facility’s dependence on Russia.

(Photo Credit: Creative Commons, Wikipedia)
(Photo Credit: Creative Commons, Wikipedia)

“[NASA] awarded contracts to Boeing and Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX to develop, test and fly capsules that can taxi astronauts to and from the station, which orbits about 260 miles above Earth,” the report says.

By the end of 2016 and start of 2017, SpaceX plans to have one unmanned test flight and a crew-tested flight into space. However, a series of several spacewalks, installations and other construction projects will need to take place before then in order to launch successful flights.

Aside from possible future efforts to colonize other planets, Hawking identified a less scientific strategy for extending the quality of life on Earth: empathy.

“A major nuclear war would be the end of civilization, and maybe the end of the human race,” Hawking said. “The quality I would most like to magnify is empathy. It brings us together in a peaceful, loving state.”

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