As if things were not bad enough British scientist and deep thinker Steven Hawking now wants us to abandon planet earth.

In an interview with website Big Think, Hawking said our future is in the stars.

"It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster on planet Earth in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand, or million. The human race shouldn't have all its eggs in one basket, or on one planet," he said.

"I see great dangers for the human race," Hawking said. "There have been a number of times in the past when its survival has been a question of touch and go. The Cuban missile crisis in 1963 was one of these. The frequency of such occasions is likely to increase in the future."

"But I'm an optimist. If we can avoid disaster for the next two centuries, our species should be safe, as we spread into space," he said.

Getting to the nearest star poses a problem putting it mildly.

University of Michigan astrophysicist Katherine Freese told Big Think that "the nearest star [to Earth] is Proxima Centauri which is 4.2 light years away. That means that, if you were traveling at the speed of light the whole time, it would take 4.2 years to get there" -- or about 50,000 years using current rocket science.

Hawking says we have no choice. "It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand or million. Our only chance of long-term survival is not to remain inward looking on planet Earth but to spread out into space. We have made remarkable progress in the last hundred years. But if we want to continue beyond the next hundred years, our future is in space."

He also says alien life forms definitely exist.

“To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational,” he said. “The real challenge is to work out what aliens might actually be like.”

He also says time travel is inevitable.

“Time travel was once considered scientific heresy, and I used to avoid talking about it for fear of being labeled a crank," he said.

"These days I’m not so cautious.”

Now digesting all that surely will make for light summer reading.