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The words of Professor Stephen Hawking - the scientist who devoted his life to unravelling the mysteries of the universe - will be beamed into space following a service to celebrate his life.

The ceremony featured readings from British actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who played Hawking in a 2004 biopic, and the British astronaut Maj.

'His name will live in the annals of science. "Nobody else since Einstein has done more to deepen our understanding of space and time".

'Millions have had their horizons widened by his books and lectures, and even more worldwide have been inspired by a unique example of achievement against all the odds'. Picture: GettyStephen Hawking's former wife Jane Hawing attended the service.

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

Every person at the ceremony will receive a CD with the piece of music, which will be released to the public at a later date. Major Tim Peake CMG read from Queen Mab by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

An address was given by Astronomer Royal Martin Rees, who first met Prof Hawking at the University of Cambridge in the early 60s, while Prof Hawking's collaborator and Nobel prize victor Kip Thorne also gave a tribute.

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"He absolutely refused to let his physical disability get in the way of doing great science or get in the way of having great fun", Thorne said.

Hawking's children thanked the abbey for the "distinguished" final resting place for their father.

The Dean led members of the family to the nave for the committal, during which Professor Hawking's ashes were buried between the graves of Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin.

Greek composer Vangelis - most famous for his Academy Award-winning score to "Chariots of Fire" - set Hawking's voice to an original piece of music, which was sent into space through a massive antenna at European Space Agency's ground station in Spain.

Among his work, Hawking was best known for his research on black holes, and his theory that they emitted radiation that came to be known as "Hawking's radiation".

She said the broadcast will be directed toward "the nearest black hole, 1A 0620-00, which lives in a binary system with a fairly ordinary orange dwarf star", according to multiple outlets.