The 71-year-old Hawking (pictured) said he did not think humans would survive another 1,000 years “without escaping beyond our fragile planet.”
The British cosmologist made the remarks Tuesday before an audience of doctors, nurses and employees at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he toured a stem cell laboratory that’s focused on trying to slow the progression of Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Hawking has survived longer than most people with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as ALS amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. ALS attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control the muscles.
People gradually have more and more trouble breathing and moving as muscles weaken and waste away. There’s no cure and no way to reverse the disease’s progression. Few people with ALS live longer than a decade.