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Fact-Sheet
  1. Three of the 24 U.S. space missions known to contain nuclear material have met with accidents, as have six out of the 39 Russian missions.
  2. One of the above missions was the 1964 crash of a U.S. Transit 5BN-3 satellite - two pounds of radioactive plutonium burned up in the atmosphere. According to one European study in 1990, radioactive debris from the crash could still be found on "all continents and (at) all latitudes."
  3. As Dr. Helen Caldicott, founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility states, plutonium "is so toxic that less than one-millionth of a gram, an invisible particle, is a carcinogenic dose. One pound, if uniformly distributed could hypothetically induce lung cancer in every person on Earth."
  4. Dr. Ernest Sternglass, professor emeritus of radiological physics at the University of Pittsburgh has determined that NASA used inappropriate methods to estimate the number of deaths that a worst-case scenario would cause if the Cassini space probe disintegrated. Dr. Sternglass warns that the actual death toll from plutonium exposure may be as high as 30 to 40 million people.
  5. Karl Grossman, author of The Wrong Stuff: The Space Program's Nuclear Threat to our Planet noted "it's no surprise that the major 'Star Wars' contractor Lockheed-Martin (which also made the rocket and nuclear generators for Cassini) is one of the biggest corporate contributors to Congressional campaigns."
  6. The Price-Anderson Act of 1957 and the 1967 Outer Space Treaty make the government only liable for $8.9 billion in damage payments within the U.S. and a paltry $100 million outside our borders. (No matter how much damage it does, there is a limited amount of funds available for the victims and the cleanup.)
  7. Alternative solar power could be used if NASA wanted. Monday, June 23, 1997, Dr. Gerhard Strobl stated on German national television that his company, Angewandte Solarenergie, has developed new high-efficiency solar cells for the European Space Agency (ESA) which could be ready within a few years to power deep space missions such as the Cassini mission.

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    This page was last published 2/27/98 10:56:40 AM by The NoFlyby Webmaster