Ever since he was a boy, Stephen Hawking was absolutely fascinated with the universe. Growing up he remembers watching the stars with his family on summer evenings. During his childhood, he was already thinking about the origins of the universe. Hawking grew up to become a cosmologist, physicist and professor of a genius status who is able to calculate mathematical equations that fill an entire blackboard and seem to stretch into infinity. Now Hawking will be able to see the universe like an astronaut when he travels on the Virgin Galactic.
When Richard Branson, the business tycoon of the Virgin Group who owns more than 200 companies, asked Hawking if he would travel on the Virgin Galactic, he said yes. In fact, Hawking never believed that Branson would even consider inviting him on the space journey of a lifetime. Before Branson developed the space-tourism company, Virgin Galactic, space travel was restricted to astronauts. Now anyone who has a love for adventure and the universe can travel to space.
On April 2013, more than 500 individuals, who possess a spirit for adventure, purchased tickets to take a ride on the Virgin Galactic. Branson believes that space exploration inspires individuals from all walks of life. He thinks that many passengers who board the Virgin Galactic will experience the Overview Effect which makes cosmonauts look at the earth as a shiny and fragile planet with no boundaries. Branson also believes that taking a trip on the Virgin Galactic will prepare future astronauts for their missions in outer space,
In addition to owning the Virgin Galactic Company, Branson also possess a train company, a lavish game sanctuary, a mobile phone company among many other profitable businesses. Branson’s businesses operate worldwide in more than 30 nations including the US, Australia and Canada.
When Hawking boards the Galactic, he will certainly not be an ordinary passenger with all of his scientific accomplishments. Through his research, Hawking has concluded that when an object goes into a black hole it may actually enter into a portal to another dimension. Most of us have seen science fiction movies where we actually see things that disappear into black holes of the universe, but only a brilliant mind like Hawking can decipher what may happen on the other side. Hawking’s said that other physicists are currently studying the mystery surrounding black holes. Hawking believes that time travel is actually possible. He also thinks that humans will be able to live on other planets sometime in the future.
Born not only to be a renowned scientist but also a distinguished professor, Hawking taught science at Caltech, Gonville, and Cauis College and Cambridge University among many other distinguished institutes of higher learning. In 1979, Hawking’s received the honor of becoming Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University.
With his publication of science books for the general public, Hawking has become a universal professor. Through his writings, he explains complex scientific theories at a level that the average person can understand. Some of his works that make science feasible to everyone are A Brief History of Time (1988), The Universe in a Nutshell (2001) and A Briefer History of Time (2005) among many other works.
Due to his charm, magnetic personality and brilliant mind, Hawking has become quite a celebrity. He has made several appearances in television shows and films. He even made a guest appearance on The Big Bang Theory, a funny sitcom about young brainy scientists. Since Hawking is such a fascinating character in real life, of course he appeared as himself.
In the 2014 critically acclaimed film, The Theory of Everything, Eddie Redmayne played the role of Stephen Hawking and gave a performance that received an Oscar nomination. This movie not only details Hawking scientific genius but also his indomitable spirit living with Lou Gehrig’s disease. He has become a role model for all those who suffer from ALS to continue to pursue their dreams.
As Hawking takes the adventure of a lifetime on the Virgin Galactic, you can only imagine the mysteries of the universe that he will unravel as he views outer space like never before.