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Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking smiles during a symposium in honor of his birthday at the University of Cambridge Jan. 11, 2002 in Cambridge, England. Hawking turned 60-years-old on Jan. 8, 2002 and is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, a post once held by Sir Isaac Newton. Sion Touhig/Getty Images hide caption

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Sion Touhig/Getty Images

Stephen Hawking, Who Awed Both Scientists And The Public, Dies

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Stephen Hawking discusses the "Breakthrough Starshot" space exploration initiative during a news conference Tuesday at One World Observatory in New York City. Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize Foundation hide caption

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Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize Foundation

Stephen Hawking's Plan For Interstellar Travel Has Some Earthly Obstacles

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An image from the European Southern Observatory shows the sky around the bright star Alpha Centauri — which appears so large because of the telescope optics and photographic emulsion — taken from photos in the Digitized Sky Survey 2. Alpha Centauri is the closest star system to Earth's solar system. ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2/Davide De Martin hide caption

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ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2/Davide De Martin