Stephen Hawking to visit space aboard Virgin Galactic spaceship
21 March 2017
Stephen Hawking told Pierce Morgan, the host of Good Morning Britain yesterday, that he was under the belief that no one would take him to space, in view of the complications involved due to his degenerative medical condition known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Hawking then revealed that Richard Branson fouder of Virgin Group, had offered him a seat on board the Virgin Galactic, and Hawking had accepted the offer immediately.
Hawking also spoke of sending a nano probe to the seven earth-sized planets discovered by Nasa in orbit around an ultracool dwarf star known as Trappist-1 (See: NASA telescope finds 7 Earth-size planets around single star), and the mystery of true love.
Hawking also told Morgan about his views on artificial intelligence, climate change and Trump - whom he had described as a demagogue.
''The reaction to the election of Donald Trump may have been overdone, but it represents a definite swing to a right-wing, more authoritarian approach,'' Hawking said about the negative response to Trump's election.
Of the US, he said, ''I have many friends and colleagues there, and it is still a place I like and admire in many ways. But I fear that I may not be welcome.''
''Trump was elected by people who felt disenfranchised by the governing elite in a revolt against globalization,'' Hawking said yesterday. ''His priority will be to satisfy his electorate, who are neither liberal nor that well-informed. We have already seen this in the promise to build a wall along the Mexican border and the sanctioning of two oil pipelines and the appointment to the Environmental Protection Agency of Scott Pruitt, a man who does not believe carbon dioxide causes climate change.''
Meanwhile Virgin Galactic has been testing its vehicles that took humans into suborbital flights close to the boundary between the atmosphere of the earth and space. The SpaceShipTwo vehicle, a commercial passenger vehicle, had a capacity for seating six passengers apart from the two pilots. SpaceShipTwo was carried on the WhiteKnightTwo jet to an altitude of 50,000 feet and then released the in mid-air.
The SpaceShipTwo then went into space and landed back on the earth like a conventional aircraft. The cost of a ticket was $250,000.