Stephen Hawking is trading in his chair for a rocket, thanks to Sir Richard Branson. For years, Hawking has been regarded as one of the world’s greatest cosmologists and physicists, but now he’ll also be able to add astronaut to his resume.
Earlier today, Hawking told Good Morning Britain’s host, Piers Morgan that Branson had offered him a seat on one of his first Virgin Galactic flights and that he said yes, immediately. There’s currently no word on exactly when the flight will take place. It was originally scheduled for 2009, but it seems that space flight is a little more complicated than Sir Richard had realized.
While this is going to be Hawking’s first trip to space, it won’t be his first time in zero gravity. The physicist took a zero g flight back in 2007, where he experienced 4 whole minutes of weightlessness. Here’s the best video I could find of that… sorry about the horrible music.