According to famous theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, the people of Earth will only be able to survive on the planet for another 1,000 years. Hawking gave an interesting speech recently at Oxford University Union where he told the audience that the Earth will only be able to sustain human life for another 1,000 years. Unless humanity finds a way to colonize stars or other habitable planets, then humans will be completely wiped out.
Professor Hawking emphasized that humans are going to be faced with many crises over these next 1,000 years which will contribute to their extinction. Three disasters he referenced in his speech included climate change, artificial intelligence, and nuclear terrorism. We already have artificial intelligence getting more advanced and out-competing humans. Then, there is the constant threat of nuclear war from countries like North Korea. If either of these two crises don’t destroy humanity, then climate change most certainly will.
Scientists are already preparing to send humans to Mars in the next few decades. There have been scientific theories for a while now that Mars could possibly sustain human life because the physical features of the planet are very similar to the Earth’s features. What will really determine whether Mars can sustain life is if there are water-based compounds on the planet. Scientists want to send astronauts to Mars so they can dig deeper into the soil and see if there’s ice or water under there.
If this doesn’t work, scientists are also searching for other possibly habitable exoplanets throughout the galaxy as well. NASA is already using powerful telescopes to search for these exoplanets. One telescope named Kepler was built to detect exoplanets by recognizing light fluctuations from the planets when they go between the telescope and their stars. But even if NASA does find a planet that may be habitable, our current space technology is not advanced enough to bring humans that far out into space. Right now, we’re still figuring out how to get humans to Mars. Perhaps, in another 500 years, we’ll be ready to go beyond Mars.