Stephen Hawking's voice will be beamed into space toward 'nearest black hole'

Stephen Hawking's words to be beamed in space today

Stephen Hawking's voice to beamed into space at final send-off

Hawking, who died in March at the age of 76, suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease), which robbed him of the ability to walk and speak.

World-renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking will embark on his ultimate posthumous discovery, as his words will be beamed into a black hole after a memorial service on Friday. It will feature readings and speeches, including from the actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who played Hawking in a drama series on British television.

The broadcast will be beamed towards the nearest black hole, 1A 0620-00, which lives in a binary system with a fairly ordinary orange dwarf star, his daughter Lucy Hawking said in a statement.

Approximately 25,000 people applied to attend the Service of Thanksgiving, according to the Hawking family, but only 1,000 people from 100 countries were given tickets, the BBC reported.

Prayers were led by the Reverend Mark Birch, minor canon and sacrist, and said by the Reverend Dr Cally Hammond, dean of Gonville & Caius College, his ex-wife Jane Hawking, Elinor Tatum, University of Cambridge vice-chancellor Professor Stephen J Toope OC, and the Reverend Jane Sinclair, canon in residence. With his distinctive voice, Hawking's breakthrough observations on black holes and his advocacy of science were recognizable and popular with the public.

A host of celebrities including Benedict Cumberbatch, Carol Vorderman and David Walliams today remembered the life of Professor Stephen Hawking (inset). In a dismissal that underlines his firm rejection of religious comforts, Britain's most eminent scientist told the Guardian in 2011 that there was nothing beyond the moment when the brain flickers for the final time. He was also immortalized in pop culture, with appearances in "The Simpsons" and "The Big Bang Theory".

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Physicist Brian Cox. Picture: GettyHawking died in March after decades of living with motor neuron disease.

Kip Thorne, a Nobel prize-winning American physicist, paid tribute to "by far the most stubborn friend I ever had".

A memorial stone will lie above inscribed, "Here lies what was mortal of Stephen Hawking 1942 - 2018".

Interment inside Westminster Abbey is a rarely bestowed honour.

"He has inspired me to be the best that I can be and not let anything, including my disability, hold me back", said Jason Felce, 20, who controls his equipment with eye movement.

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