As a tribute to the Hawking’s research in cosmology, the physicist’s own voice was projected to a black hole 3,500 light years away through a powerful antenna located in central Spain. Hawking’s voice recording was encapsulated in a piece of music by Vangelis, the composer behind the legendary Bladerunner and Chariots of Fire scores. The funeral service was attended by 1,000 individuals who received tickets via a public ballot of 25,000 applicants. Between other participations to the event the British astronaut Major Tim Peake read a prayer.
Place of the ceremony at Westminster Abbey
“His name will live in the annals of science,” astronomer Royal Martin Rees said. “Nobody else since Einstein has done more to deepen our understanding of space and time.” Westminster Abbey shared a twitter photo of Hawking’s grave stone, incised with the physicist’s most famous black hole equation. A group of 20 Paralympic volunteers from the 2012 London games worked the service. “With Stephen Hawking being in the Paralympic Ceremony, we just felt it was important that we came and gave our last respects in the way we know best,” volunteer Colin Shannon said. In 1963, Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an incurable degenerative neuromuscular disease, commonly called Lou Gehrig’s disease. At that time he was given only a few years to live. . “My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus,” Stephen Hawking than said.