9 August 2010, JellyBean @ 3:06 pm

Stephen Hawking has warned that unless the human race colonises space within the next two centuries it will disappear forever.

The famous astrophysicist says that our only chance for long-term survival is to move away from Earth and begin to inhabit new planets.

In an interview with website Big Think, Hawking said he was an ‘optimist’ but the next few hundred years had to be negotiated carefully if the human race is to survive.

He said: ‘I see great danger for the human race. There have been a number of times in the past when survival has been a question of touch and go. The Cuban missile crisis in 1963 is one of these.

‘The frequency of such occasions is likely to increase in the future. We shall need great care and judgment to negotiate them all successfully.’

‘But I am an optimist. If we can avoid disaster for the next two centuries our species should be safe as we spread into space.’

Earlier this year, Hawking warned that humans should be wary about trying to make contact with other alien lifeforms in space as we could not be sure that they would be friendly.

‘If we are the only intelligent beings in the galaxy we should make sure we survive and continue.’

Read more: Daily Mail

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