- Did the Space Force logo rip off Star Trek? Friday 6:24 PM
- Disabled people with service dogs say Uber, Lyft drivers are denying them rides Friday 3:25 PM
- TikTok teen famous for greasy hair ends her 8-year reign Friday 2:48 PM
- Police handcuff brown man at subway station for carrying a toy gun Friday 1:20 PM
- Fake clip of Sanders quoting infamous ‘hot chip’ tweet is duping people online Friday 1:16 PM
- The Mars Volta’s Cedric Bixler-Zavala alleges Scientologists behind dog’s death Friday 12:46 PM
- Eminem responds to critics: ‘This album was not made for the squeamish’ Friday 12:42 PM
- ‘The poet, the poem’ meme takes iconic lines and turns them into art Friday 12:40 PM
- People are making dark memes about the coronavirus Friday 12:27 PM
- Trump camp’s ‘head on a pike’ impeachment threat hit with memes Friday 11:34 AM
- What is the #FreeBritney movement, and why is Cher tweeting about it? Friday 10:52 AM
- This YouTuber claims the Saudi government plotted to kidnap him on U.S. soil Friday 10:30 AM
- Report: Jack Dorsey declined to host a fundraiser for Tulsi Gabbard Friday 10:22 AM
- Bernie Sanders plugs Joe Rogan endorsement—and women are furious Friday 10:04 AM
- Young woman using TikTok to document the end of her life says she’s dying next week Friday 8:43 AM
Stephen Hawking, one of the world’s foremost theoretical physicists and cosmologists, is getting to achieve one of his dreams. Hawking will head into space—although as of yet, the launch date is still TBD.
“I thought no one would take me, but Richard Branson has offered me a seat on Virgin Galactic, and I said yes immediately,” Hawking said in an interview with Good Morning Britain. Hawking suffers from the degenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and is largely paralyzed. In the interview, Hawking also shared that he has previously been on a zero-gravity flight, which gave him the opportunity to float. True space flight, however, is the scientist’s ultimate ambition.
Branson’s Virgin Group currently includes three companies with space bound ambitions. The Spaceship Company designs, manufactures, and tests aerospace vehicles. Virgin Galactic is the arm that focuses on human space flight. Recently, Virgin Orbit broke out from under the Virgin Galactic umbrella into its own company. Virgin Orbit is primarily for launching small satellites into orbit.
Virgin Galactic originally aimed to launch a commercial space flight in 2009, but it has had to deal with a variety of delays and problems.
If Virgin continues to have issues with making its commercial space program viable, perhaps Hawking will be able to instead jump on a SpaceX mission. Elon Musk’s SpaceX plans to send two tourists around the moon next year in a weeklong “vacation.” SpaceX, like Virgin Galactic, has had its own fair share of mishaps and catastrophes as it works toward sending humans safely into space.
If all else fails, there’s still the spacecraft that Hawking developed himself. While he wouldn’t be aboard, the “Breakthrough Starshot” project would rocket towards our nearest star neighbor, Alpha Centauri. Its 20-year journey would focus on searching for signs of life in the galaxy.
H/T The Independent
Christina Bonnington is a tech reporter who specializes in consumer gadgets, apps, and the trends shaping the technology industry. Her work has also appeared in Gizmodo, Wired, Refinery29, Slate, Bicycling, and Outside Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a background in electrical engineering.