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Stephen Hawking has claimed that humans might one day be able to use time travel to skip generations into the future.
The famous astrophysicist, speaking in a new documentary, said spaceships could one day be capable of such high speeds that time slowed down for those on board.
He admitted he had avoided talking about time travel previously ' for fear of being labelled a crank', saying the subject had once been 'scientific heresy'. 'These days I'm not so cautious,' he said.
Theoretically, such a space ship would allow the crew to repopulate the earth if they found our species had become extinct during their flight.
Stephen Hawking's Universe, in which he makes the comments, will be screened on Discovery next Sunday. In another part of the series he says alien life is likely to exist but that humans should avoid making contact.
Hawking said a spaceship capable of travelling through time - but only forwards - would breach Albert Einstein's theories of relativity.
Having taken six years to reach its full speed of 98 per cent of the speed of light (650million miles per hour), a day on board the ship would be equivalent to a year on Earth, he said, allowing those on board to reach the edge of the galaxy in just 80 years.
Originally posted by Avarus
I've thought that myself... but the article clearly states that we would only be able to travel FORWARD... not backwards. Sorry chum, no future people for us. But they could be people from the past.