User talk:Joan kingston/JK sandbox

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edit to Hawking page[edit]

At the 50th Anniversary of NASA, Hawking gave a keynote speech on the final frontier exhorting and inspiring the space technology community on why we (the human race) explore space.

At the celebration of his 65th birthday on 8 January, 2007, Hawking announced his plan to take a zero-gravity flight in 2007 to prepare for a sub-orbital spaceflight in 2009 on Virgin Galactic's space service. Billionaire Richard Branson pledged to pay all expenses for the latter, costing an estimated £100,000.[1] Stephen Hawking's zero-gravity flight in a "Vomit Comet" of Zero Gravity Corporation, during which he experienced weightlessness eight times, took place on 26 April 2007.[2] He became the first quadriplegic to float in zero-gravity. This was the first time in 40 years that he moved freely, without his wheelchair. The fee is normally US$3,750 for 10–15 plunges, but Hawking was not required to pay the fee. A bit of a futurist,[3] Hawking was quoted before the flight saying:

Many people have asked me why I am taking this flight. I am doing it for many reasons. First of all, I believe that life on Earth is at an ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster such as sudden nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus, or other dangers. I think the human race has no future if it doesn't go into space. I therefore want to encourage public interest in space.[4]

  1. ^ "Stephen Hawking plans to see space". Telegraph.co.uk. 2007-01-09. Retrieved 2007-03-18. 
  2. ^ "Hawking takes zero-gravity flight". news.bbc.co.uk. 2007-04-26. Retrieved 2007-04-26. 
  3. ^ "Move To New Planet, says Hawking". BBC. 2006-11-06. Retrieved 2008-02-21. 
  4. ^ "Physicist Hawking experiences zero gravity". CNN. 2007-04-26. Archived from the original on 2007-05-04. Retrieved 2007-05-04.