spellraiser (764337) writes "Stephen Hawking spoke out on the future of mankind in an interview with the BBC. He said that humans would sooner or later be forced to leave the Earth to colonize other solar systems or face extinction through, for example "a nuclear disaster or asteroid hitting the planet". However, he is optimistic that a method for travelling such great distances could be devised via "matter/anti-matter annihilation".
Professor Hawking also jested about his own possible space travelling plans:
"My next goal is to go into space, maybe Richard Branson will help me."
Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group has contracted a firm to design and build a passenger spaceship.