In the first half, space historian Robert Zimmerman provided updates on the latest space news. He reacted to the recent accident at the SpaceX launchpad in which an explosion destroyed a rocket and a satellite that was about to be launched. We don't have information to determine the cause yet, but the incident will likely impact their future commercial launches, he said. There has been speculation that the disaster might have been related to a UFO seen in the blast footage, but Zimmerman suspects this could have been a bird or explosion debris.
Delving deeply into the raw images that come from the rovers Opportunity and Curiosity which are exploring Mars' rugged terrain (see related blog post), Zimmerman has gained insight into how NASA is directing them. He also reported that a new rover being developed for use in 2020 is building on the strengths of Curiosity, which has proved to be highly robust. Two exciting missions are launching this month-- NASA is sending a spacecraft on a sample return to the asteroid Bennu (which has the potential of hitting the Earth at some point), and China is putting up a new space station, he detailed. Zimmerman also enthused about the photos the Juno mission has been sending back of Jupiter.
During the latter half, astronomer and physicist Hugh Ross outlined the list of astronomical, geological, chemical, and biological conditions recognized as essential to human existence on Earth, and why he believes this fine tuning is not the result of chance, but a specific intelligent design by God. "Everywhere we look, we see that there is a hostile environment for advanced life except here on planet Earth. We can't even find a star that's sufficiently like the sun that it could be a candidate to have a planet orbiting it in which advanced life could exist," he argued.
While there have been some 3,500 exoplanets discovered so far, none of them appear to have the eight known habitable zones that we have on Earth, Ross continued. The placement of Earth within the gas giant planets and the asteroid belt in our solar system are crucial for advanced life to form, he suggested, adding that this type of pattern has so far not been found anywhere else. "I think we're the only physical intelligent life existing within the entire universe...it literally takes a universe of exactly the size and mass we observe in order to make possible one intelligent species," he remarked. Ross also touched on his belief that UFOs and their pilots are transdimensional or non-physical forms.