A recording of Stephen Hawking's voice will be sent towards a black hole as he is laid to rest. His daughter said it was "a message of peace and hope, about unity and the need for us to live together in harmony."
The voice of late British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking will be beamed into space as his ashes are buried at London's Westminster Abbey during a memorial service on Friday.
One of the world's best-known scientists, Hawking died on March 14 at the age of 76 after a lifetime spent probing the origins of the universe, the mysteries of black holes and the nature of time itself.
As the ashes of the British theoretical physicist are interred, a recording of Hawking's voice accompanied by music written by Greek composer Vangelis will be sent towards the nearest black hole by the European Space Agency.
He will be buried by the graves of fellow scientists Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin.
"This is 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," Hawking's daughter Lucy said.
'A message of peace and hope'
"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 was quoted as saying by the BBC. "It is a message of peace and hope, about unity and the need for us to live together in harmony on this planet."
Friday's service will be attended by Hawking's family, friends and colleagues and about 1,000 members of the public who were selected by a ballot.
Read more: Will we evolve to adapt to life in space?
Guests attending Hawking's service will be welcomed by volunteers from the London 2012 Paralympic Games opening ceremony, which Hawking starred in.
British astronaut Tim Peake, astronomer royal Martin Rees, and actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who played Hawking in a television film and narrated his documentaries, will deliver addresses.
law/rs (AFP, Reuters)