Elon Musk, Apollo 11 Documentary Honored With Stephen Hawking Medals

Elon Musk (Credit: SpaceX)

ZURICH (STARMUS PR) — The STARMUS festival announces the 2019 winners of the Stephen Hawking Medal, one of the world’s most celebrated science communication awards. This year’s recipients are:

  • Elon Musk for his astounding accomplishments in space travel and for humanity
  • Brian Eno for his contribution to the popularisation of science
  • Apollo 11, a documentary by Todd Douglas Miller, for its breakthrough look at history’s most famous space mission.

STARMUS will announce the winners at a press event in Zurich on May 10th, with the medal ceremony to follow on June 24 at the STARMUS V festival, also in Zurich. Celebrated scientist and educator Bill Nye will host the ceremony, and scheduled attendees include a remarkable roster of science and space luminaries, including Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins and six other Apollo mission astronauts.

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Hawking to be Interred in Westminster Abbey

Stephen Hawking

LONDON (Westminster Abbey PR) — Westminster Abbey has today announced that there will be a Service of Thanksgiving later in the year for Professor Stephen Hawking, during which his ashes will be interred in the Abbey near the grave of Sir Isaac Newton.

The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said today:

It is entirely fitting that the remains of Professor Stephen Hawking are to be buried in the Abbey, near those of distinguished fellow scientists. Sir Isaac Newton was buried in the Abbey in 1727. Charles Darwin was buried beside Isaac Newton in 1882. Other famous scientists are buried or memorialised nearby, the most recent burials being those of atomic physicists Ernest Rutherford in 1937 and Joseph John Thomson in 1940. We believe it to be vital that science and religion work together to seek to answer the great questions of the mystery of life and of the universe.

R.I.P. Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking (Credit: NASA)

Stephen Hawking died on Wednesday at his home in Cambridge, England. He was 76 years old.

Hawking was a great scientist who contributed much to our understanding of the Universe and our place in it. More important, perhaps, was the heroic way he dealt with the cruel blow that fate dealt him. He made the best of a truly terrible situation, and for that each of us can take inspiration.

Rest in peace, Stephen.

All Hail The Singularity!

The Internet would have blown their minds, man!

Part of an Occasional Series on Silicon Valley Buzzwords & Ideas

Fifty years ago during the Summer of Love of 1967, young Americans turned on, tuned in, dropped out, dropped acid, blew their minds, chanted mantras, played Sgt. Pepper’s and followed gurus like Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey and the Maharishi Yogi in an effort to obtain a higher level of consciousness.

The changes wrought during that crazy year and the rest of the tumultuous decade changed America forever, making the nation at once more open and liberal, but also creating a counter revolutionary backlash that gave us Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.

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NSRC Day 3 Summary

Test flights will eventually take place on Masten Space Systems' Xaero vehicle. (Credit: Masten Space Systems)
Test flights will eventually take place on Masten Space Systems’ Xaero vehicle. (Credit: Masten Space Systems)

The Next Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference finished up today in Colorado. There were provider presentations from Masten Space Systems and Virgin Galactic. Three researchers also presented results from suborbital microgravity flights.

Below are summaries of the sessions based on Tweets.
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Text of Stephen Hawking’s Message at SpaceShipTwo Roll Out

Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking

Professor Stephen Hawking
Recorded Message
VSS Unity Roll Out
Mojave Air & Space Port
19 February 2016

I have always dreamt of space flight. But for so many years, I thought it was just that – a dream. Confined to Earth and in a wheelchair, how could I experience the majesty of space except through imagination and my work in theoretical physics. I never thought I would have the opportunity to see our beautiful planet from space or gaze outward into the infinity beyond. This was the domain of astronauts, the lucky few who get to experience the wonder and thrill of space flight.

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Virgin Galactic Rolls Out SpaceShipTwo No. 2

Richard Branson rolls out Virgin Galactic's Spaceship Unity in Mojave. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)
Richard Branson rolls out Virgin Galactic’s Spaceship Unity in Mojave. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

MOJAVE, Calif., February 19, 2016 (Virgin Galactic PR) – Virgin Galactic, the privately-funded space company owned by Virgin Group and Abu Dhabi’s Aabar Investments PJS, today unveiled its newly completed SpaceShipTwo. The rollout ceremony was attended by Sir Richard Branson and his family, Virgin Galactic’s Future Astronauts, and partners. Professor Stephen Hawking named the new vehicle Virgin Spaceship (VSS) Unity via a recorded speech and said, “I would be very proud to fly on this spaceship.”
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Musk, Hawking Named Among World’s Top Luddites

cylon_centurion
WASHINGTON (ITIF PR) — After a month-long public vote, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) today announced that it has given its annual Luddite Award to a loose coalition of scientists and luminaries who stirred fear and hysteria in 2015 by raising alarms that artificial intelligence (AI) could spell doom for humanity. ITIF argued that such alarmism distracts attention from the enormous benefits that AI can offer society—and, worse, that unnecessary panic could forestall progress on AI by discouraging more robust public and private investment.

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Will Virgin Galactic Name its Next SpaceShipTwo “Unity”?

The second SpaceShipTwo under construction. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)
The second SpaceShipTwo under construction. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

Virgin Galactic filed applications in November to trademark the names “Unity” and “VSS Unity”, giving a strong hint about the name of the second SpaceShipTwo the company plans to unveil on Feb. 19.

VSS stands for Virgin Space Ship. The first SpaceShipTwo, which was destroyed in a flight test on Oct. 31, 2014, was named VSS Enterprise.

The applications identify launch services as the goods and services to be delivered under the “Unity” and “VSS Unity” trademarks.

Famed physicist Stephen Hawking is set to name the vehicle during the roll out ceremony next month if he is healthy enough to travel to Mojave, Calif. from his home in England.  Virgin Founder Richard Branson will preside over the event.

Stephen Hawking to Help Name Virgin Galactic’s Second SpaceShipTwo

Stephen Hawking (Credit: NASA)
Stephen Hawking (Credit: NASA)

UPDATE: Looks as if the unveiling will be on Friday, Feb. 19, here in Mojave.

Stephen Hawking will name the second SpaceShipTwo vehicle when it is rolled out of its hangar next month in Mojave, Calif.

Sir Richard has invited the theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking to name the new plane at the unveiling. He has already offered the scientist Virgin Galactic’s only free ticket into space – which Professor Hawking has accepted, provided his health allows it.

“Obviously, we had a year’s delay after the accident and it’s tremendous that Stephen Hawking has agreed to come and name the new spaceship,” Sir Richard said.

“He has made it very clear that he thinks mankind and womankind need to work very hard to try to colonise other planets and that space is very important for people back here on Earth,” he said.

Hawking has a free ticket on SpaceShipTwo which now costs a cool $250,000 (up from $20o,000 in 2013). The PR benefits of having the world-famous physicist involved in the roll out ceremony is probably well worth the cost. And it’s the least Hawking can do for such a generous gift.

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Stephen Hawking Might Help Unveil Second SpaceShipTwo in February

Video Caption: Professor Stephen Hawking is one of the people I admire most in the world, an undisputed genius who has opened our eyes to the wonders of the universe, while also happening to be a kind and delightful man. He is the only person I have given a free ticket with Virgin Galactic, and he is signed up to fly as a Future Astronaut with us if his health permits it.

We all wish Stephen the very best as he continues his recovery from recent health issues. We are very honoured that Stephen has agreed to help us unveil our new spaceship in February if he is feeling well enough. He has long been an inspirational for all the team, as well as an enthusiastic advocate for our goals of democratising access to space for the benefit of life on earth. Ahead of that milestone, our brilliant Astronaut Relations team recently arranged an event for our Future Astronauts with Professor Hawking at Cambridge University, on a day centred on the theme of astronomy.

Oscar Winning Actor Eddie Redmayne’s PSA for NASA

Video Caption: Stephen Hawking, one of the most prominent cosmologists of our time, has given voice to the great heights humanity can achieve. Recently, actor Eddie Redmayne, who plays Professor Hawking in the film “The Theory of Everything,” took time to explain the inspirational relationship between Professor Hawking and NASA’s mission and programs.

Branson Heads for the Center of the Earth

By Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

With the first commercial flight of SpaceShipTwo right on schedule for this Christmas, Sir Richard Branson has time to plan a trip to where no man (outside of cheesy sci-fi novels and even cheesier movies based on said novels) has ever gone before: the center of the Earth.

Making headlines for the first time in years, Britain’s pathologically reclusive and chronically publicity-shy answer to Howard Hughes announced his latest venture, Virgin Volcanic, on the first day of April. Branson plans to screw his way to the top bottom of an active volcano and through the center of Earth’s molten core using a giant carbon-composite VVS1 vehicle that looks exactly like….wait for it….a giant screw.

“Using patented carbon-carbon materials pioneered for deep space exploration, Virgin is proud to announce a revolutionary new vehicle, VVS1, which will be capable of plunging three people into the molten lava core of an active volcano,” Virgin Volcanic announced breathlessly on its website.

“Sir Richard Branson will go on the first expedition along with Tom Hanks, Academy Award winning actor and star of Joe Versus the Volcano; Black Eyed Peas recording artist and science enthusiast Will.i.am; actor/producer Seth Green; and two-time Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker Barbara Kopple.”

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NSS Awards Heinlein Memorial Award to Stephen Hawking

Washington, DC — March 28, 2012 (NSS PR) – The National Space Society (NSS) is pleased to announce Dr. Stephen Hawking as the 14th recipient of NSS’s Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Award. The award will be presented to Dr. Hawking at a special ceremony at the Cooks Branch Conservancy in Montgomery, Texas on Wednesday, March 28 and is given in recognition of his outstanding and continuing public efforts in support of human space development and settlement. 

In the last decade, Dr. Hawking has repeatedly and publicly advocated the need to move part of humanity off the Earth in order to avoid the destruction of the human race, either through self-destructive actions such as nuclear war, or natural phenomena such as asteroid collision or, eventually, the death of our nearest star, the Sun.

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Video: This Week in Space

Miles O’Brien reports on the Rocket Racing League demonstration in Tulsa. Steven Hawking warns us about aliens, The military launches a space shuttle, NASA helps keep an eye on oil slick off Louisiana, and the countdowns are on for Atlantis’s final scheduled flight and Falcon 9’s inaugural flight.