In Brief

Stephen Hawking’s voice to be beamed into black hole

Satellite will broadcast “message of peace and hope” after Westminster Abbey memorial service

The voice of Stephen Hawking will be beamed into the depths of space following a memorial service at Westminster Abbey at noon today.

The physicist, famed for his research into black holes and relativity, died at the age of 76 on 14 March and was cremated at a private ceremony in Cambridge.

His ashes will be interred today at a ceremony attended by 1,000 people, from 100 different countries, who were selected from 25,000 applicants.

A message recorded by the physicist will then be beamed into a black hole thousands of lightyears outside of the solar system, says US-based news site Tech Times. Hawking’s words have set to an original score by composer Vangelis, famous for his Chariots of Fire film theme

Speaking to the BBC,  the physicist’s daughter, Lucy Hawking, said the music is a “beautiful and symbolic gesture that creates a link between our father’s presence on this planet, his wish to go into space and his explorations of the universe in his mind.”

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

A transcript of the message has not been released, but European Space Agency exploration chief Mark McCaughrean told CNN that it is “pretty sombre” and centres around humanity taking care of Earth.

Once the message has been transmitted into space, everyone invited to the ceremony will be given a CD of the recording. It will be made available to the wider public “at a later date”, the US news site adds.

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