British scientist Stephen Hawking said Tuesday that the detection of gravitational waves set off by the Big Bang creation of the universe is "another confirmation" of the cosmic inflation discovered more than 30 years ago.

In a statement Tuesday on BBC Radio 4, the Cambridge University cosmologist recalled that this inflation was first conceived by Alan Guth, who said that in the creation of the universe, there was a period of acceleration, a hyper-expansion, which in turn explains why the universe looks almost the same in every direction.

Hawking recalled that in 1982 he invited scientists who were evaluating this theory to take part in a workshop at Cambridge, where they concluded that the idea of cosmic inflation at the beginning of the universe must be accepted, although, he said, it was not confirmed through observation until 10 years later.

In his statement, Hawking said that inflation can set off "gravitational waves," something that was confirmed Monday by scientists at Harvard University.

The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Massachusetts revealed that it had detected for the first time, by means of a telescope at the South Pole, the "primordial gravitational waves" generated by the Big Bang.

Always interested in the future of the universe, Hawking believes the human species "faces imminent extinction" if it doesn't "voyage out into the blackness of space to colonize new worlds across the cosmos."

In an interview on the science program "Planet" on Britain's Channel 4 television, Hawking estimated that there will be human settlements on the moon within 50 years, and at that time man will be getting ready to set foot on Mars. EFE