Physicist and doom-monger fears the next century could spell curtains for our species unless we work out a way of living on another world.
PROFESSOR Stephen Hawking has said humanity has to find a way of leaving Earth or face the extinction of our species.
In the documentary, The Search for a New Earth, he said humans will soon find a way of visiting nearby star systems like Proxima b.
The British genius fears humanity will destroy itself through pollution and climate change, meaning we may one day need to find another place to live.
“I have no doubt we will eventually find ways of crossing the immense distances of space in just a few years," he said, according to The Daily Star.
“One of our greatest strengths is embracing new ideas and evolving them into cutting-edge technologies.
“Our ingenuity will get us to Proxima b and in the next 100 years we will embark on our greatest ever adventure.”
He added: “We must have preparations in place within 100 years. Colonising Proxima b will be a challenge our species like nothing before.”
However, the physicist has previously said that alien species living way out in space pose a huge threat to our species.
“One day, we might receive a signal [from aliens] but we should be wary of answering back,” he said in the documentary Stephen Hawking’s Favourite Places.
“Meeting an advanced civilisation could be like Native Americans encountering Columbus. That didn’t turn out so well.”
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He claimed alien life could be "rapacious marauders roaming the cosmos in search of resources to plunder, and planets to conquer and colonise”.
His fears have not changed since he first spoke out about it on the Discovery Channel in 2010.
He said as he grew older he became more convinced humans were not alone.
“After a lifetime of wondering, I am helping to lead a new global effort to find out,” he said.
Professor Hawking has also warned Earth could become as hot as Venus as a result of climate change.
He told the BBC climate change could turn the planet into a hothouse, and Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate agreement to reduce CO2 levels could accelerate the threat.
“We are close to the tipping point, where global warming becomes irreversible,” he said.
“Trump’s action could push the Earth over the brink, to become like Venus, with a temperature of 250C, and raining sulphuric acid.”
Hawking also said humans may have to consider living on a different planet elsewhere if climate change ravages our own world.