Stephen Hawking wrote an afterword to the new book How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight and it is reprinted here: I think the human race has no future if it doesn’t go to space – The Guardian. He talks about his experience of weightlessness aboard the ZERO G parabolic flight aircraft and about why he believes space development and settlement is so important.
I believe in the possibility of commercial space travel – for exploration and for the preservation of humanity. I believe that life on Earth is at an ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as a sudden nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus, or other dangers. I think the human race has no future if it doesn’t go to space. We need to inspire the next generation to become engaged in space and in science in general, to ask questions: What will we find when we go to space? Is there alien life, or are we alone? What will a sunset on Mars look like?
My wheels are here on Earth, but I will keep dreaming. It is my belief, and it is the message of Julian Guthrie’s book, for which I have written the afterword, that there is no boundary of human endeavour. Raise your sights. Be courageous and kind. Remember to look up at the stars and not at your feet. Space, here I come!
Here is a reading by Arthur C. Clarke from a section of his book 2001: A Space Odyssey, which is his version of the story told in the movie: Hear Arthur C. Clarke Read 2001: A Space Odyssey: A Vintage 1976 Vinyl Recording | Open Culture