There are many reasons why mankind as a species may look at colonising the stars. Whether it is global warming, nuclear disaster, fatal disease outbreak, a cataclysmic asteroid impact, or the biblical apocalypse – a common agreement seems to be that the next 100 years will likely see the climax of our survival as a race.

Whether we come out of it alive at the other end is anyone’s guess.

World famous Professor Stephen Hawking is currently developing a documentary called ‘Expedition New Earth’, with the help of former student Christophe Galfard. He emphasises in the documentary that in order for our civilisation to survive, there is a critical requirement for the human race to colonise other planets sooner rather than later.

“Although the chance of disaster to planet Earth in a given year may be quite low, it adds up over time,” he said back in November, while noting that “we should have spread out into space and to other stars, so a disaster on Earth would not mean the end of the human race.”

Hawking and Galfard will travel the world in search of the means to self sustain a colony on another planet, to make the proposition truly viable.

Are we in danger of a critical cataclysmic event in the next 100 years, self inflicted or not? I guess we don’t have to wait too long to find out.