Stephen Hawking’s voice to be beamed into space at final sendoff | Science

The voice of Stephen Hawking will be beamed into space in a message of peace and hope, his daughter said, as the British physicist is laid to rest on Friday during a service at Westminster Abbey.

The scientist died in March, aged 76, after a lifetime spent investigating the origins of the universe, the mysteries of black holes and the nature of time itself.

Hawking’s ashes will be interred between two other major British scientific figures, Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin, at Westminster Abbey.

About 1,000 members of the public, selected by a ballot, will join Hawking’s family for the service. The physicist’s voice will also be sent into space by the European Space Agency.

Lucy Hawking, daughter of the late scientist.

“The broadcast will be beamed towards the nearest black hole, 1A 0620-00, which lives in a binary system with a fairly ordinary orange dwarf star,” his daughter, Lucy Hawking, said.

“It is a message of peace and hope, about unity and the need for us to live together in harmony on this planet.”

Newton formulated the law of universal gravitation and laid the foundations of modern mathematics, while Darwin’s theory of evolution was one of the most far-reaching scientific breakthroughs of all time.

Internment inside Westminster Abbey is a rarely bestowed honour. The most recent burials of scientists there were those of Ernest Rutherford, a pioneer of nuclear physics, in 1937, and of Joseph John Thomson, who discovered electrons, in 1940.

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