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ESA's rocket scientists express their respect for Stephen Hawking

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By Robert Hackwill
ESA's rocket scientists express their respect for Stephen Hawking

Euronews' science editor Jeremy Wilks went to the European Space Agency to find out what the boffins there thought of Stephen Hawking, and what they thought his scientific legacy would be.

"When Stephen was a student back in the late 1960s and early 1970s black holes were just a construct, something purely theoretical. In his career, his lifetime, we've got to the point where we observe them, we see material falling into them, and soon, with a new mission being built here at the European Space Agency - LISA - we're going to be able to measure their internal properties as well", said ESA's Senior Advisor for Science & Exploration, Mark McCaughrean.

"As I head someone describing it, Hawking's work has created homework for everyone else. A bit along the line of Einstein where Einstein's theory of general relativity is roughly a 100 years old. For 100 years people have being using that to try to understand the universe. The same thing will happen to Stephen Hawking. His contribution to science is so immense that people are using those concepts and that will keep science going for many, many years to come," said Gravitational Wave Physicist Paul Mcnamara.