During the first hour of Tuesday night’s Coast to Coast program, Richard C. Hoagland checked in with some updates on space exploration and 2012. For those of you who aren’t familiar with RCH (Richard C. Hoagland), he’s the official Coast to Coast Science Advisor, the author of “Dark Mission: The Secret History of NASA” and head of EnterpriseMission.com. Hoagland makes frequent appearances on Coast and this time he was here to discuss the Hayabusa space probe launched by the Japanese.
Hoagland stated that the Hayabusa probe was a very tiny probe with an ion engine, launched 5 years ago by Japan for the purpose of collecting particles directly from an asteroid.
Science Minister Yoshiaki Takaki confirmed on Nov. 16 that Hayabusa did, indeed, achieve its goal and the particles it brought back are definitely from Itokawa, a very small, rock covered asteroid, only, a few hundred feet in diameter and located 186,000 miles from Earth.
Because of the small size of the asteroid it was necessary for the Hayabusa space probe to make a very soft landing and essentially hover on the surface of the asteroid. The probe then fired a small ‘bullet’ into the surface of the asteroid, twice, to stir up the dust which it then collected in 2 separate collection cups and stored deep inside its casing for the return trip to Earth.
According to Hoagland, the really exciting news is that there are unconfirmed rumors around the scientific community that the dust sample also included some particles of organic matter, meaning it’s possible there could have been some type of life form on that asteroid.
Hoagland stated that, 20 or 30 years ago, Carl Sagan said, “If you find even a microbe outside of the Earth, that means the universe is just teaming with life.”
Hoagland hopes to be able to confirm these rumors before his next scheduled appearance on Coast to Coast.
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