Stephen Hawking: In 50 years, we'll be living on the moon

It seems as if this century will be the real Space Age, according to the famed physicist.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

A moon shot?

National Geographic Channel screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I can just imagine the ads.

One-hundred-twenty-year-old Richard Branson would like you to be one of the first to live in the Virgin Moon Residences.

There will be three Virgin Galactic (or perhaps Virgin Lunartic) flights there daily and the residences will be all-inclusive properties with the option of timeshares. They will even have their own mayor: a still-gray Newt Gingrich.

Is my brain suddenly marble-free? No, I've been reading the latest predictions from Stephen Hawking.

As the Daily Mail reports, the famed physicist was speaking Sunday night on UK TV in a program called "Live From Space." His predictions were optimistic, in a pessimistic sort of way.

He said: "Our planet is an old world, threatened with an ever-expanding population and finite resources. We must anticipate these threats and have a plan B."

Plan B is really Plan M. He said: "Within 50 years, I have no doubt there will be settlements on the moon."

This view rather echoes that of Newt Gingrich.

When trying to show he was far more progressive than Mitt Romney during the 2012 Republican nomination contest, Gingrich suggested there would be a moon colony during the second term of his presidency.

Some might think this was looking at progress through rose-tinted Google Glass.

I can't imagine life on the moon being all that much fun. Indeed, Sandra Bullock didn't seem to have too much entertainment merely floating in space.

If living on the moon will be our only option because, as Hawking suggested, the Earth doesn't have the resources for so many humans, the life of the future doesn't seem too attractive.

Moreover, it's still unresolved whether other beings might be living on the moon or wishing us ill. It was Hawking himself who warned not too long ago that aliens might hate us and feel ill-disposed toward our dissolute ways.

Technology surely has to make rapid advances for humanity to adjust to any new world. Still, Hawking believes that this century will be "the true Space Age."

What might this entail? Hawking said: "By the end of the century, I truly hope humans will be living on Mars."

I truly hope humans have the best of luck with that.