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Astronaut Stephen Hawking? Physicist Will Travel to Space Aboard Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic

Mar 21, 2017 08:16 AM EDT
Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking may soon travel in space aboard Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic spacecraft. Hawking said he was offered a seat which he accepted immediately.
(Photo : Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize Foundation)

Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking may be bound to space. This is after gladfully accepting an offer for a seat aboard Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic flight to space.

With his flair and interest with cosmology and science, it is not surprising that the famous professor would subject himself to such experiment. What's confounding is the fact that he is willing to risk everything that he had worked for, for that one shot to travel beyond the safe confines of Earth.

Apparently, Hawking had been working on a space flight long before Branson's Virgin Galactic offer. The 75-year-old says he doubted, at first, if anyone would give him a seat for a flight to space.

"And I can tell you what will make me happy, to travel in space," the famous astrophysicist and cosmologist said in an interview. "I thought no one would take me but Richard Branson has offered me a seat on Virgin Galactic, and I said yes immediately."

Hawking had long worked for space explorations and extraterrestrial research. He and Russian billionaire Yuri Milner are already working on Breakthrough Starshot, a nanocraft capable of flying to the nearest star system, Alpha Centauri, even before the potentially habitable exoplanet Proxima B was discovered.

Hawking's decision to climbed on board a Virgin Galactic flight bound to space may also be construed as a reaction towards the current U.S. government under President Donald Trump. The professor blatantly expressed his dislike for the new president, calling Trump a "demagogue," according to a report.

"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 in the same interview. "I would like to visit again and to talk to other scientists but I fear that I may not be welcome."

Hawking believes that the country is still great and that there will still be special places that will remain dear to him. Despite the fact that he wanted to leave Earth, he still professed his love for the U.S. and its people.

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