Wang Junkai, leader of China’s top teen boy band TFBoys, was praised by English theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking after asking about life beyond earth.
Wang, 18, also known as Karry, took his curiosity to Weibo and asked Hawking how humanity should prepare for interstellar migration.
“In your speeches, you have presented recommendations many times about the necessity of exploring alien immigration to continue our earth civilization,” Wang began. “Like many young people in China, I am very curious about exploring the universe and the future.”
“What shall we do to prepare for this?” he asked.
In response, Hawking lauded the young star for asking “an excellent question,” Reuters noted.
For the acclaimed 75-year-old physicist, Wang’s query gave him an insight on Chinese millennials and their “curiosities” about the future.
Wang, one of China’s richest young people, appears to have taken note of Hawking’s warning earlier in November, when the physicist predicted that the world’s growing population will consume too much energy and turn earth into a “ball of fire.”
Speaking via video, Hawking told the crowd at Beijing’s Tencent WE Summit that the only way to survive is to escape the planet, pointing to his $100 million project called “Breakthrough Starshot” as the first step.
The project, also backed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, aims to send a probe to Alpha Centauri, the closest star system to our sun, in 20 years.
British newspaper The Sun quoted Hawking as saying:
“The idea behind this innovation is to have the nanocraft on the light beam. 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.”