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Hawking: Humans must colonize other planets
POSTED: 12:50 p.m. EST, November 30, 2006

Story Highlights:

• Renowned physicist says we need to explore and colonize other worlds
• Hawking: Ideas in "Star Trek" not that far fetched
• Hawking to get Copley medal, world's oldest award for scientific achievement
• Hopes Virgin tycoon Richard Branson can help him get to space

"Science fiction has developed the idea of warp drive, which takes you instantly to your destination," [Hawking] said.

"Unfortunately, this would violate the scientific law which says that nothing can travel faster than light."

However, by using "matter/antimatter annihilation", velocities just below the speed of light could be reached, making it possible to reach the next star in about six years.

"It wouldn't seem so long for those on board," he said.

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