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Interesting facts about Stephen Hawking regardin ET's and space

At a George Washington University lecture in honour of NASA's fiftieth anniversary, Professor Hawking theorized on the existence of extraterrestrial life, believing that "primitive life is very common and intelligent life is fairly rare."
At the fiftieth anniversary of
in 2008, Hawking gave a keynote speech on the final frontier exhorting and inspiring the space technology community on why we (the human race) explore space.

At the celebration of his sixty-fifth birthday on 8 January 2007, Hawking announced his plan to take a zero-gravity flight in 2007 to prepare for a sub-orbital spaceflight in 2009 on Virgin Galactic's space service. Billionaire Richard Branson pledged to pay all expenses for the latter, costing an estimated 100,000. Stephen Hawking's zero-gravity flight in a "Vomit Comet" of Zero Gravity Corporation, during which he experienced weightlessness eight times, took place on 26 April 2007. He became the first quadriplegic to float in zero-gravity. This was the first time in forty years that he moved freely, without his wheelchair. The fee is normally US$3,750 for 1015 plunges, but Hawking was not required to pay the fee. A bit of a futurist, Hawking was quoted before the flight saying:

"Many people have asked me why I am taking this flight. I am doing it for many reasons. First of all, I believe that life on Earth is at an ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster such as sudden nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus, or other dangers. I think the human race has no future if it doesn't go into space. I therefore want to encourage public interest in space."