Star-among-stars: Stephen Hawking's voice to be beamed into space

Star-among-stars: Stephen Hawking's voice to be beamed into space

Star-among-stars: Stephen Hawking's voice to be beamed into space

Greek composer Vangelis - most famous for his Academy Award-winning score to "Chariots of Fire" - set Hawking's voice to an original piece of music, which was sent into space through a massive antenna at European Space Agency's ground station in Spain.

Today's Westminster Abbey service for Stephen Hawking will see his ashes interred in the special brainiacs science wall next to Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin, and he'll also be broadcasting a pre-recorded message to anyone happening to tune in to the ceremony from outer space.

Following Hawking's death in March, the renowned British physicist, who had battled a debilitating degenerative motor neuron disease for decades, was remembered at a memorial service Friday at Westminster Abbey.

The ESA said the six-minute message, which is drawn from a speech Hawking gave about preserving the planet, was being transmitted towards the black hole 1A 0620-00, which was discovered in 1975 and is located 3,500 light years from Earth.

The cosmologist transformed our understanding of how black holes work, effectively reimagining how the objects function and interact with the rest of the universe.

It's unclear what Hawking said in the recording, but CDs were created for those who attended the memorial service Friday afternoon. "Hawking is a highly influential scientist and public figure".

The recording will become locked just outside the black hole - but black holes don't last forever, McCaughrean said. Among those giving readings and addresses are actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who played Hawking in a BBC drama, and astronaut Tim Peake.

Hawking's ashes will be laid to rest at Westminster Abbey.

His voice will be broadcast into space after the service honoring his life.

Guests at the service included 1,000 members of the public selected by ballot. There were 25,000 applications for 1,000 available tickets.

Astronaut Tim Peake and two of Hawking's oldest professional friends, cosmologist Martin Rees and Kip Thorne, an American physicist and Nobel Prize victor, will also be in attendance. His book "A Brief History of Time" sold 9 million copies - even if many readers didn't finish it - and he appeared on "Star Trek: The Next Generation", "The Big Bang Theory" and "The Simpsons".

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