Stephen Hawking: Humanity Must Colonize Space to Survive
Professor Stephen Hawking speaks about "Why We Should Go into Space" for the NASA Lecture Series, April 21, 2008.
Credit: NASA/Paul Alers

Famed British cosmologist Stephen Hawking sees only one way for humanity to survive the next millennium: colonize space. And he's probably right.

In a lecture Tuesday in Los Angles, the 71-year-old Stephen Hawking said humanity would likely not survive another 1,000 years "without escaping beyond our fragile planet," according to the Associated Press.  Hawking has long been an advocate of space exploration as a way to ensure humanity's survival. Living on a single planet leaves us at risk of self-annihilation through war or accidents, or a cosmic catastrophe like an asteroid strike.

Hawking's latest comments were made at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after touring a stem cell laboratory that is studying how to combat Lou Gehrig's disease. He's lived with the debilitating neurological disorder, also called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, for 50 years and can only communicate via a computer attached to his wheelchair.  

Here are some pretty simple questions to test your knowledge about the planets in our solar system. Good luck!
Water Worlds: Astronomer Predicts Many Earth-Like Planets
0 of 10 questions complete
Quiz: How Well Do You Know Our Solar System?
Here are some pretty simple questions to test your knowledge about the planets in our solar system. Good luck!
Water Worlds: Astronomer Predicts Many Earth-Like Planets
0 of questions complete

Email Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com or follow him @tariqjmalik and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+.