Planetary Society Cancels Lunch with Hawking, Buzz

stephen_hawkingThe Planetary Society has canceled a planned Jan. 23 luncheon to honor Stephen Hawking because the famed physicist is unable to fly to Pasadena, Lou Friedman writes on the society’s website.

Dr. Hawking has been advised by his doctors not to fly at this time. He is well — and still working in his office in the UK — but he’s unable to travel to California.

The Planetary Society had planned to present Hawking with the Cosmos Award for Outstanding Public Presentation of Science. Friedman writes that the group will present the award to Hawking at another time.

The event was also to be an 80th birthday party for Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, a long-time supporter of the society.

We’re making a giant birthday card to include everyone’s best wishes. If you haven’t already, you can send your message to Buzz online.

Planetary Society to Honor Stephen Hawking, Buzz Aldrin


Please join us to celebrate the achievements of two renowned heroes of space exploration, physicist Stephen Hawking and Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, at a luncheon in Pasadena, California on January 23, 2010.

The Planetary Society will present the Cosmos Award for Outstanding Public Presentation of Science to Dr. Hawking, author of “A Brief History of Time” and host of the television series “Stephen Hawking’s Universe.”


Hawking Reported “Comfortable” in Hospital

Prof Stephen Hawking ‘very ill’ in hospital with respiratory infection

The 67-year-old, regarded as the world’s best known living scientist, was admitted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital near his home in Cambridge yesterday after suffering from the illness for three weeks.

Cambridge University described the professor, who has lived with motor neurone disease for more than 40 years, as “comfortable”.


Stephen Hawking Hospitalized, “Very Ill”

Stephen Hawking Hospitalized, Reported Very Ill

Cambridge University says that famed mathematician Stephen Hawking has been rushed to a hospital and is very ill. The university said Hawking has been fighting a chest infection for several weeks, and on Monday he was taken to Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge, north of London.

More here. Updates as we receive them.

Stephen Hawking Pens a Children’s Book

Meet Stephen Hawking, children’s author
New Scientist

Stephen Hawking: It is extremely important to me to write for children. Children ask how things do what they do, and why. Too often they are told that these are stupid questions to ask, but this is said by grown-ups who don’t know the answers and don’t want to look silly by admitting they don’t know. It is important that young people keep their sense of wonder and keep asking why. I’m a child myself, in the sense that I’m still looking. Children are fascinated by black holes and ask me questions. I find they soon get the idea if it is explained in simple language. And yes, it is nice to think a few of them might grow up and read A Brief History from cover to cover.


New Documentary Film on Zero G Featuring Stephen Hawking to Premiere


Northrop Grumman Corporation Foundation announced today that the feature documentary film, “Inspire Me! Weightless Flights of Discovery,” will premiere Thursday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m at the Northrop Grumman Theater at Space Center Houston. The film chronicles the Foundation’s successful Weightless Flights of Discovery science education program and features former NASA astronaut Story Musgrave and Professor Stephen Hawking.


Stephen Hawking to Send DNA into Space on Garriott Flight


Stephen Hawking, best selling author of “A Brief History of Time” and the children’s book “George’s Secret Key to the Universe” written along with his daughter Lucy, will be sending his digitized DNA into space as part of NCsoft’s® Operation Immortalityâ„¢.

Lucy Hawking is also participating in the project. Together, the father and daughter are hoping the project will raise awareness of the Archon X PRIZE for Genomics, a competition that will award $10 million to the first person or team that can sequence 100 human genomes within 10 days or less.


Hawking: Build Space Colonies in Case We Blow Ourselves Up

Worried that humanity could destroy itself and the Earth with it, famed physicist Stephen Hawking on Monday advocated a massive global spending effort to establish off-world colonies as an insurance policy against a global holocaust, New Scientist reports.

Speaking in Washington, DC, in honor of NASA’s 50th anniversary, Hawking advocated spending about 10 times more than NASA’s current $17 billion budget on the initiative. This expenditure would amount to about 0.25 percent of global GDP.

“Even if we were to increase the international [space exploration] budget 20 times to make a serious effort to go into space, it would only be a small fraction of world GDP,” Hawking told the crowd. “Isn’t our future worth a quarter of a percent?”

Hawking advocated speeding up NASA’s plans to establish a settlement on the moon and send humans off to the Red Planet. “A goal of a base on the Moon by 2020 and of a manned landing on Mars by 2025 would reignite the space program and give it a sense of purpose in the same way that President Kennedy’s Moon target did in the 1960s,” he said.

As much as I admire Hawking, I wonder about the effectiveness of his approach. It would pretty much involve overturning the way politics are practiced.


Britain’s Channel 4 Airing Series on Stephen Hawking

Britain’s Channel 4 will be airing a two-part series about famed physicist Stephen Hawking this week. Stephen Hawking: Master of the Universe, which will be aired on March 3-4.. The channel’s website has extensive information about the series and physics in general.

The Guardian has a story here by Rachel Cooke, who interviewed Hawking. There are quotes from the physicist and his colleagues, with discussions about space exploration, philosophy, religion and alien beings. The story also includes an interesting account of what it is like to interview Hawking, who is confined to a wheelchair and can only speak with the help of a computer.

Ben Bova: Weightlessness of space could offer freedom from infirmity

Noted science fiction writer Ben Bova has an op-ed in the Naples News about physicist Stephen Hawking’s upcoming micro-gravity flight with Zero-G. He sees flights like this as the beginning of man’s evolution in space.

“The old adage is wrong: The meek will inherit not the Earth, but the gentler low-gravity environments of space,” Bova writes.

For the complete article, click here.