On March 20th, British Journalist Piers Morgan was able to interview Stephen Hawking on Good Morning Britain. There they were able to discuss various political topics such as Trump, Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn, and climate change. But the juicy bit (at least for us STEM nerds) is that he was offered by Richard Branson to fly into space on his Virgin Galactic Spacecraft.
The famous Physicist and Cosmologist has stated that his ultimate dream is to fly into space. However, he never expected that he would ever have the opportunity to do so, so when the founder of the Virgin Group had offered him a seat on the world’s first commercial spaceline, “I said yes immediately. Since that day, I have never changed my mind.”
He was brought to the topic whilst he and Pier were talking about happiness, wherein Hawking responded with “My three children have brought me great joy- and I can tell you what will make me happy, to travel in space.”
The date in which the Virgin Galactic will begin its first Voyage is not yet certain, but the company hopes that it would be able to passenger people into commercial space missions “in the near future.”
The Virgin Galactic had been around since 2009, wherein Richard Branson, the owner of the company, hoped he would be able to complete its first flight. The plan had been postponed for several years after that though, due to several drawbacks and incidents.
Source: Daily Mail UK
An example would be Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, which was supposed to be the first ever passenger flight into space. It had broken up into pieces and free-fell into the Earth at the Mojave Desert in California back in 2014, after the co-pilot had unlocked the spacecraft’s tail wing breaking system too early, causing a sudden increase in aerodynamic forces as it passed through the sound barrier. What’s more is that this isn’t the first time that Richard Branson had invited Stephen Hawking to travel into space. He was actually first invited by Virgin Galactic to travel into space in 2014 (before the time of the SpaceShipTwo incident), but he feared that the doctors wouldn’t allow him to go.
You can watch the Stephen Hawking’s full Interview on Good Morning Britain here:
Source: Youtube, Good Morning Britain
In addition to space travel, Hawking said in the interview that he “fears he may not be welcome” in the US, and that Trump should fire Scott Pruitt from the Environment Protection Agency as he thinks he’s not doing a very good job tackling the issue of climate change and global warming. “Climate change is one of the great dangers we face, and it’s one we can prevent,” he said.