Humans will need to colonise another planet within one hundred years to ensure our survival, according to Professor Stephen Hawking.
The astrophysicist has made a new documentary, Expedition New Earth, as part of the BBC’s new science season Tomorrow’s World. In it he will claim that time is running out for Earth and if humanity is to survive climate change, asteroid strikes, epidemics and overpopulation we will need to leave our planet and venture further afield.
In the landmark series, Prof Hawking and his former student Christophe Galfard will travel the world to find out how humans could live in outer space.
It is 14 years since the BBC cancelled its future-gazing series Tomorrow’s World after 38 years on air, but the corporation and the scientists involved promise the new season will be even better.
Prof Brian Cox, the astrophysicist and TV presenter who has been helping curate the series, said: “The original Tomorrow’s World inspired a generation – it certainly inspired me back in the 1970s, but that was a single TV programme.
“The 21st century Tomorrow’s World represents so much more – it represents the institutions of Britain coming together to inspire current and future generations, to convince them to embrace the opportunities that science brings, to foster a spirit of curiosity and tolerance, and to embrace the unknown not in fear but in wonder.”
The BBC has joined forces with the Royal Society, Open University, London’s Science Museum and the Wellcome Trust, to “connect audiences with the brightest minds and institutions in science and technology”.
“Whether it’s the rise of robotics or the demise of antibiotics, travelling to Mars or the arrival of 3D printed food, science is changing the world at an extraordinary pace.”