Stephen Hawking MND

Stephen Hawking’s voice to be beamed into space at his memorial service

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At his memorial service, Stephen Hawking’s daughter has revealed that the renowned physicist’s voice will be beamed into space carrying a message of peace and hope

The world’s most recognisable scientist died in March aged 76 after a lifetime spent probing the origins of the universe, the mysteries of black holes and the nature of time itself.

Around 1,000 members of the public, selected by a ballot, will join Hawking’s family for the service. The physicist’s voice will be sent into space by the European Space Agency.

“The broadcast will be beamed towards the nearest black hole, 1A 0620-00, which lives in a binary system with a fairly ordinary orange dwarf star,” his daughter Lucy Hawking was quoted as saying by the BBC.

“It is a message of peace and hope, about unity and the need for us to live together in harmony on this planet.”

The late scientist’s words have been set to an original piece of music, composed by Vangelis, for the Service of Thanksgiving.

The broadcast in space is set to take place following a service which will feature readings and addresses from a number of people including Benedict Cumberbatch, who played the physicist in a BBC drama, and astronaut Tim Peake.

An address will be given by Astronomer Royal Martin Rees, and Prof Hawking’s collaborator and Nobel prize winner Kip Thorne will give a tribute.

His ashes will be interred between major British scientific figures Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin at Westminster Abbey, a location made famous worldwide for generations of royal coronations, weddings and funerals.

Hawking will be laid to rest between Newton, who formulated the law of universal gravitation and laid the foundations of modern mathematics, and Darwin, whose theory of evolution was one of the most far-reaching scientific breakthroughs of all time.

Interment inside Westminster Abbey is a rarely bestowed honour. The most recent burials of scientists there were those of Ernest Rutherford, a pioneer of nuclear physics, in 1937, and of Joseph John Thomson, who discovered electrons, in 1940.

In November last year Hawking said that technological advances could help to combat global poverty and environmental destruction but warned that artificial intelligence needs to be controlled or it could do severe damage to humanity.

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