Bristish Cosmologist Stephen Hawking will travel to space on board Richard Branson's ship: 'I thought no one would take me', the cosmologist and physicist said

Bristish Cosmologist Stephen Hawking will travel to space on board Richard Branson's ship: 'I thought no one would take me', the cosmologist and physicist said
Bristish Cosmologist Stephen Hawking will travel to space on board Richard Branson's ship: 'I tho...

Good on Richard Branson for helping fulfill his dreams. Of all the wealthy men on Earth, I think I would want to party with him, most. He just seems so damn cool.

He was on a zero-g flight before, but that limits 0 g to ~20 seconds. With Virgin Galactic you can have that for a few minutes, and watch the sky on the way.

He's got that right blend of innovation, responsibility, and fuck-aroundness to be a fun billionaire.

I don't know why, but I always assumed Mr Hawking was American. I'm British as well so I thought I would know about this. Probably his accent.

Haha funny story actually. After he got the Text-To-Speech system, he became so used to the new accent that even with an option to later change to a British accent, he would rather keep using the American one.

In the same vein, better TTS software exists that produces more natural human speech but he sticks with the janky robo-voice because its a defining characteristic of public persona

I'm thinking of taking a zero-g flight this Spring. It's $5K, but passengers get 13 20-second segments of zero-g.

The only reason I might not is that it's not really zero-g, it's falling with a plane around you. That detracts a lot from the coolness.

*Edit: Yes, I know zero-g in orbit is also just falling. But not being in space does reduce the thrill. Though it's a LOT cheaper. My bad - here's a link to a company that does the flights around the country.

Hawking's limbs will start moving again, to say the least.

My favorite thing about Stephen Hawking is that when he was on The Simpsons, he went to the studio and they just put a microphone in front of the speaker on his synthesizer to record the lines. It would have been really easy for him to just "be on the show" by approving the lines and having them generate the voice on their own, but he put in the work.

If it makes you feel any better about it, that's pretty much the same situation as in orbit! True zero-g doesn't really exist anywhere

Basically Mike Oldfield was on a recording contract with Virgin, and had one album left, and was in a dispute with Virgin regarding how much he should be getting paid.

In the end Oldfield created "Amarok" which is one single track, roughly an hour long, and without any clear spots to even attempt to break it up into radio sized songs as a fuck you to Virgin.

True zero-G by definition cannot exist anywhere, because gravity can attract particles over any finite distance.

I remain completely convinced that when Stephen Hawking dies, he will turn into a starchild, like David Bowman in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Absolutely irrational, zero reason to believe it, but I do anyway.

No one is forcing Prof. Hawking to go. I'm sure that a man with his intelligence is quite aware of the risks involved, particularly given his health. That being said, if I had been studying the universe for all my life and was suddenly given the opportunity to go into space I'd take it in a heartbeat regardless of the risk.

Fucking hell the comments on that page. Most of the people there seem to be calling for his head on a pike!

I wish I can join them! Congrats Stephen Hawking


This has actually made my day to think that he will be able to experience something he has dedicated his life to, something he had probably resigned himself that he would never see. Good on Branson!

Mike Oldfield would beg to differ.

Back when Obamacare was being made there was a newspaper (Investor's Business Daily) that wrote that he "wouldn't have a chance in the UK, where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless."

Hawking had to point out that he was at Oxford when he was diagnosed, spent long periods in the UK and had been saved by the NHS numerous times.

That's true. Although I imagine being there enjoying the process and also a bit of improv on the spot are also good reasons for him to be there.

Not true at all. In the right position, the gravity from all the bodies surrounding you can cancel out and there may be no net gravity acting on you. It's possible but unlikely.

I read that as cosmetologist at first. Quite confused

You can go if you want. You just have to be richer. Have you tried being more rich?

Musk is a lot more reserved. I've always felt Branson is the closest to a real life Tony Stark we have.

In fact, I think he would be quite content if he could die doing what he loved, especially after the life he lived.

Never read the comments under an online article or on Youtube. Pretty much the cesspools of humanity.

Also has "fuck off RB" in it in morse code

Maybe the computer has always dreamed of going to space and we just think it's hawking's dream.

I had to look it up. Wikipedia doesn't give much detail. Any links to a good telling of the story?

What if he like... accidentally kills one of the smartest physicists on the planet? How cool and hip will he be then?

Its Hawking's choice at the end of the day, he knows the risks.

My dad also has ALS, loves science, and would also enjoy going at the same time. Richard, I know you're reading this, so just get a hold of me.

What if the rocket explodes?

That's how zero-g in orbit works.

For all we know his computer could be pulling a Weekend at Bernie's on us all this time.

In space no one can hear your screen.

You think Hawking burning up amongst the stars isn't some sort of destined ending for him?

There is still gravitational forces being applied to you, which is obviously what he is saying. In any system, if there are two bodies with any amount of mass, no matter how far away, there is gravity.

Yes he spent long periods in the UK. He was born here.

I don't know if this was the case when he was on the Simpsons but it takes him a really long time to write a sentence with his system. Probably couldn't improv anything.

I can't believe it's been that long. I wish they'd put out a new album

The real typo was "Bristish".

Tubular Bells 1 & 2 didn't really lend themselves to radio play either, seeing as how the songs on those albums were about 25 minutes each. Radio play isn't what Mike Oldfield was going for.

Source? Siri already got a voice makeover in iOS 7 (I believe) that made it sound much more natural, so this sounds very much made-up to me.

He's like the old Elon Musk

The ISS still experiences 90% of the gravity that we experience on the earth's surface - they're just flying out sideways as fast as they're falling. So, the effect felt is pretty much the same really vs the flight.. Go for it!

20 years passed from first flight to the beginning of the postal service.

Life can change in a hurry.

Check out The Theory of Everything. Fantastic movie.

To pass while flying through space. We should all be so lucky to pass at that moment when [I think] we would feel most fulfilled.

Well, Hawking has to die eventually. If I were him, I would probably also choose death by spaceship launch.

Just hope Neil deGrasse Tyson doesn't go on the same ride. I love Neil, but he gets a bit smug and explainy.

Easily more recognisable than Carl Sagan's. Among the most immediately recognisable of any human in the last century

Wow. I went there thinking maybe it wouldn't be that bad. These people went through the trouble of logging into that site only to speak about what they do not understand. Hawking is more brilliant than all of the critics combined, yet they argue he's the stupid one.

More badassery: why is this man not "Sir" Stephen Hawking yet? Because he turned it down in the 90s as a protest over science funding.

The dude seems like a bit of a dick in his personal life, but it's hard to fault that with the contributions he's made and the shit hand that life dealt him.

totally agree that if anyone would show up in a full Iron Man style suit it would be Branson, and Gates would be The Hulk.

ZIGGY! Leap me far, far from here....

Watch the Mike Oldfield story on youtube.

The beginning of Virgin Records started with the first big album they produced: Tubular Bells. There was a strong reluctance by Richard Branson on producing it because it was so different and was costing a lot to produce. Mike's head wasn't screwed on well at the time. Was there an issue - make your own decision.

In our lifetime I can't see tickets being affordable to the normal person.

It makes sense. Hawking's "voice" is iconic. Even people who don't care about his work can recognize it pretty much instantly. Possibly the most recognizable voice of a scientist bar Sagan.

It flys by falling towards the ground and missing.

Like many Brits, he has spent time in the UK

I read "David Bowman" as "David Bowie" the first time through.

Well if we leave the realm of Newtonian gravity, general relativity states that there is no gravitation force. Only curvature of spacetime.

In a universe with two massive bodies, the point at which their gravitational potentials cancel would be a point where you would feel no effects due to gravitation.

Just FYI, what you are referring to as zero-g is actually termed microgravity in the industry, to avoid confusion.

Happy International Day of Happiness! Thank you for your contribution!

I don't think there are a lot of men more deserving of going into space than him.

"Even my cell phone can speak with a voice like a human. Prove that the voice coming out is Stephen Hawking. I have never believed it was Hawking talking for years. So easy to have a wireless setup to a speaker and plug in the response you want Hawking to give. It is all a scam. Also, update the voice so it does not sound like a 1980's version of speech. You would think Mr Genius if he could do anything at all would have created a better speech synthesizer. "

Wow you weren't kidding.

I find you terribly boring.

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a point where you would feel no effects due to gravitation

But since I am not a point object, I would still experience tidal forces.

Eddie Redmayne SO deserved that Oscar. I bawled my eyes out like never before in a movie.

zero-g and zero gravity are two very different things. Zero-g obviously exists under certain conditions, like the ISS and plane nosediving, etc.

No. Bowie turned into a Starman.

Would it just be called Sir then?

That's also assuming that was his idea. I mean, the silhouette of Bill Gates' famous mug shot is the default image for Outlook contacts, but I doubt that was his doing.

That's also assuming that was his idea. I mean, the silhouette of Bill Gates' famous , but I doubt that was his doing.

The astronauts and cosmonauts who have died were mostly blunt trauma, with some burning alive. Challenger astronauts died from either force of the explosion or slamming into the ocean. Columbia astronauts were blundgeoned, then dismembered, helmets were described as sheared off. Cosmonaut Komorov impacted on the ground after a failed parachute, then burned up.

So, he's likely to be smashed, bludgeoned, shredded, or simply cut into pieces.


Yeah I'm just talking things like having his first wife stay with him for years through a bunch of shit and then him being like "yeah, sorry, I like my nurse better."

I'm sure things are complicated and Hawking is way too private for us to ever really know, though.

Nope, he can write sentences on the fly on his own.

Here's him explaining it:

And here's a (more recent) bloomberg video about the machine:

Since the orbit of the ISS is so low it still has some atmospheric drag, yes, they do have to do burns to maintain altitude.

That's literally how the space station works

Well i really dont think Hawking would mind dying if it was during his only chance to go to space. Dude has lived a full life for someone in his condition. At this point if he goes out he dgaf.

He also showed up a few times in Futurama, probably doing the same thing. And those moments where he shows up are also fucking great.

One commenter thought that Hawking was just being allowed up there because he's crippled... and apparently not believing in intelligent design negates the ability to perform quantum equations in your head.

"Look it up" seems to be the catchphrase of people with no idea what they're talking about.

It's gravity all the way down

But on the other hand has a couple of catchy passages that lend themselves perfectly for motion picture licensing.

Or smarter.

Google Assistant

it's more noticeable when you compare it to

I'm boring your terrible mother.

I think at this point most of reddit is aware that he's kind of a dick.

I'm all for him burning out in a blaze of glory, but would he at least get to choose from 3 colours?


Isn't he already about 72 years old?

He is crazy lucky to still be alive given his condition. I would imagine it's a dream come true for him to go to space and even if he died there for some reason......I think we could all accept that he died doing what he lived.

RIP future Stephen Hawking.

I'm sure you already know this, but his mom would stop 3 miles away from his house and make him find his way home. Eventually even farther. He was 5, and this wouldn't fly today, but I believe this is why the man grew up to be a problem solver. Out of necessity

Correct, in his song/album "Amarok", a near the end Morse code spells out "fuck you rb" since he was having a number of disputes with Virgin at the time, and Brand was actually the person who signed him (his first album basically put Virgin Records on the map).

He criticized Trump and right wingers.

you just think he's nice because you're actually a bigger jerk than he is.

also, he was probably trying to not get stabbed by you.

He also issued quite a few good reads, last I read from him is Loosing your Virginity with Branson. A great read to see where he comes from (rather poor upbringing) to where he got now and what he faced in between. Fun to read and very interesting.

A pike is also a kind of spear

Siri on iphone is the same thing. They could have made it sound human, but thought the robot voice sound would come off as more advanced.

Is Hawking able to improve? I was under the impression that it took his assistant hours to decipher a couple sentences.

Amarok was my favorite music player a decade ago. Wikipedia claims it was named after the album.


Mother of god

Why don't people just paste the contents of the article? Why do I need to be spammed with auto-play videos and have narrow paragraphs swamped by ads?