To save itself, mankind must take a cue from Star Trek and "boldly go where no one has gone before," he said in the appearance.
Hawking sees an answer in Breakthrough Starshot, the $100 million research and engineering program announced in 2016. Hawking and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg sit on the project's board.
"The idea behind this innovation is to have the nanocraft ride on the light beam," he said of the interstellar space travel program. "Such a system could reach Mars in less than an hour, or reach Pluto in days, pass Voyager in under a week and reach Alpha Centauri in just over 20 years."
Hawking's on a roll with the grim futuristic predictions. On Monday, in another video speech, he declared that effective artificial intelligence "could be the biggest event in the history of our civilization. Or the worst."
The original article was published in Cnet.com.
More about: #StephenHawking