(Getty Images)

  • Stephen Hawking's ashes will be laid to rest at Westminster Abbey on Friday.
  • A speech by the late physicist has been set to a piece of music, which will be beamed into space after the service.
  • The composition is by Vangelis, who wrote the "Chariots of Fire" theme, and is being broadcast by the European Space Agency.



Stephen Hawking's voice will be beamed into space as a "message of peace and hope" to the universe as his ashes are laid to rest on Friday.

A speech from the late physicist has been set to an original score by composer Vangelis, who wrote music for films including "Chariots of Fire" and "Blade Runner."

The European Space Agency plans to beam it from its satellite dish in Cebreros, Spain, to the nearest black hole, which is called 1A 0620-00. It is part of a binary star system 3,500 light years from earth.

The entire piece is about six and a half minutes long, with a voiceover by Hawking in the middle, European Space Agency senior adviser Mark McCaughrean told CNN.

It isn't clear exactly what the voiceover will say. The Vangelis piece will be played to guests at Friday's service, and be released to the public at an unspecified date, CNN reported.

Hawking's family, friends, and 1,000 members of the public will attend a thanksgiving service at Westminster Abbey, London, on Friday. The service will will feature readings from people including actor Benedict Cumberbatch and astronaut Tim Peake.

During the service, Hawking's ashes will be interred between fellow British scientists Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin.

Hawking's daughter Lucy described the music to accompany the physicist's words as 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," according to the BBC.

She added: "It is a message of peace and hope, about unity and the need for us to live together in harmony on this planet."

Stephen Hawking died at home on March 14, 2018, after a long battle with neurodegenerative disease ALS. He was 76.


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