SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL PREMIERES NEW STEPHEN HAWKING SPECIAL LEAVING EARTH: OR HOW TO COLONIZE A PLANET.  THE SPECIAL AIRS SUNDAY, MARCH 25 AT 8 PM ET/PT

Featuring interviews with Hawking and other renowned astrophysicists, the special explores Hawking’s theory that humans must colonize space within a hundred years.

In what may be Stephen Hawking’s last major television project, Smithsonian Channel explores his controversial position that the survival of the species depends on inhabiting another planet. Planet Earth has been home to humankind for more than 200,000 years, but with a population of 7.3 billion and counting and limited resources, some scientists believe it might not support human life forever. Stephen Hawking, one of the world’s most prominent scientists, believed that humans must have an interstellar escape plan in place within the next 100 years. He asserted that this is the only way to safeguard the future of the human species from the next mass extinction – by leaving Earth and making a new home on another planet. The program visits an exo-planet observatory in the heart of the Atacama Desert, reveals a plasma-powered rocket engine that could revolutionize space travel, explores the giant greenhouses of Biosphere 2 and showcases NASA’s own “robot army.” Hawking, top scientists, technologists and engineers around the globe investigate whether humans really do have what it takes to colonize another planet.

The film is part of a Smithsonian Channel’s special series of four program premieres on Sunday, March 25th and Sunday, April 1st highlighting innovators and pioneers who are forging ahead with space exploration to plan for an unknown future.

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