Action Site Newsletter No. 1
January 7, 1998
	Dear friends,

		The Cassini space probe is scheduled to execute a
	dangerous flyby maneuver around the Earth on August 18,
	1999.  This probe is carrying a record amount 72.3 lbs
	(32,8 kg) of deadly plutonium on board and is expected
	to approach Earth at record speeds in excess of
	42,000 mph (64,000 km).

		In the event of a collision with our atmosphere what
	would be the consequences of radioactive exposure?
	According to the NASA Environmental Impact Statement, this
	mission has the potential to expose five billion people to
	99% or more of the radiation from the plutonium.  Thus,
	there is the possibility of releasing 400,000 Curies of
	plutonium in fine particles throughout our atmosphere.
	This would more than double the man-made Plutonium
	activity in the atmosphere!

		Why is plutonium being used at all? Why isn't NASA
	developing advanced solar technology for deep space
	missions? The facts and the risks that surround these
	questions are disturbing.

		We have designed the NoFlyby Action Site to be a source
	of information and to coordinate actions that expand public
	awareness on the truth of the Earth flyby. Please visit
	the website and work with us to stop the scheduled flyby.

                            Thank you for your consideration,
                            Coordinators of the NoFlyby Site

Today's subjects:

A. Announcement in Nonviolence Web News
B. Alternative missions for Cassini - not involving an Earth flyby
C. Action Input from our readers

You can find a formatted version of this newsletter at

*** A. Nonviolence Web News ***
By Martin Kelley:
"The 'Stop Cassini Earth Flyby Action Site' is Part II of the massive protests this past fall to stop the launch of the Cassini space probe, the one which is powered by 72 lbs. of plutonium. Joe McIntire put together one of the leading anti-Cassini launch websites for the Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice and he's back with this one. An affiliated project of the Traprock Peace Center, this site is to alert people to the continued danger posed by Cassini's flyby of Earth. The probe will use Earth's gravity as a slingshot to take it on toward the outer Solar System. Approaching the earth at 42,000 miles per hour, a miscalculation that sends the probe into Earth would likely be devastating to life on our planet.

"In the larger context, Cassini and related plutonium-power probes are part of the nuclearization of space. While it's mission is strictly scientific, it's technology can easily be applied to NASA's military missions and these launches are getting the public used to the idea of plutonium in space. The more we protest now, the harder it will be for NASA and the Pentagon to go down this slippery slope toward Star Wars."

Martin Kelley is on the Advisory Board of NoFlyby Action Site and Director of the Nonviolence Web. The Nonviolence Web has won several awards recently including the "Snap! Online Best of the Web" award.

*** B. Alternative missions for Cassini ***
- not involving an Earth flyby
The following is available in formatted text at:
From Dr. Michio Kaku, member of the NoFlyby Site Advisory Board, Professor of Theoretical Physics, City University of New York, Co-author of "To Win a Nuclear War":
"The trajectory of the Cassini probe is very, very fine-tuned. There is no way for the Cassini probe to make it Saturn without an Earth flyby."

Nevertheless, there are ways to mitigate the mission:

"I suggest we ask the President to send Cassini into the sun, after it has performed useful scientific work by circling around Venus. That way no one gets hurt and we still do some science. The sun can easily absorb the plutonium from Cassini, although the sun itself has very little plutonium."
Dr. Kaku is one of the world's leading authorities on Einstein's Unified Field Theory and is the co-founder of string field theory.

And from Dr. William Ross McCluney, also member of the NoFlyby Site Advisory Board, Optical physicist and solar scientist, Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Miami, Principal Research Scientist, Florida Solar Energy Center, and former employee at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center:

"They could take pictures and do other science around Venus when the probe goes by there. It won't be optimized for Venus, but I'm sure they could learn a lot about its magnetic fields, get some wonderful images, including those in false-color (for scientific interest), and learn some things about the particle fields in the vicinity of Venus.

"I'm not very familiar with either the positions of the planets for the next few years, or the feasibility of this proposal, but perhaps they could swing by some other planet."

*** C. Action Input from our readers ***
The following can also be found from:

From Florida:

Ross McCluney, Ph.D. Principal Research Scientist of the Florida Solar Energy Center writes:
"I don't think the flyby will be canceled by NASA or the Administration. It must be canceled by the Congress. What NASA can learn from this is the error of thinking too narrowly, of the elitist thinking that a few scientists can risk the health of many people, and the Earth itself, however minimal they may think that risk is, for the sake of a modest increase in scientific knowledge. The cancellation would force a serious reconsideration of the role of NASA in the 21st century, and of the nuclear-military-industrial complex as well. So, for me, the greatest positive benefit which would result from the cancellation of the flyby, from sending the Cassini probe into the Sun, would be the initiation of an important global debate about the wisdom of rocketing nuclear materials through or near our precious atmosphere. This debate, if it takes place, has far greater value, for a much longer period of time, than anything the Cassini probe can tell us about Saturn and its moons. "

We have heard indirectly that the attorneys (Mark and Lisa Tietig) who represented some of the demonstrators who protested the launch of Cassini are studying ways to bring the Flyby debate to court.

From Colorado:

The next meeting of the Global Network against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space will be held April 7-9, 1998 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The three day meeting will be held at the same time that the annual National Space Symposium is held in Colorado Springs. The symposium draws the top military, corporate and academic proponents of nuclear power and weapons in space.

The Global Network meeting will feature workshops, strategy sessions and will hold protests at the space symposium as well as at various U.S. Space Command bases in the Colorado Springs area. For more information contact the Global Network at (352) 468-3295 or (719) 389-0644.
Registration forms available at http://www.afn.org/~fcpj/space/globe/meeting.htm#reg

From Massachusetts:

The "Western Mass Coalition to Stop the Flyby" is having it's first open meeting on Thursday night January 15, (Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday) from 7:00 to 9:00 P.M. in Amherst, MA at the Jones Library - Main Meeting Room.

Concert and Jamming Benefits on 1/31/98 at The Thunder Lodge Cafe located in Bernardston, MA and on 3/22/98 at Fire & Water Cafe in Northampton, MA.


from Alyn Ware, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy
". . . I would agree that it needs Congress to initiate the debate as NASA won't change and there is not a strong enough legal path to challenge the flyby legally."

From Germany:

Regina Hagen joins the NoFlyby Board of Advisors. Regina is an activist of the German "Stoppt Cassini" campaign and works with the Darmstaedter Friedensforum, and the Friedens- und Begegnungsstaette Mutlangen.
She writes:
"We also thought about sending Cassini to another planet . . . Surely NASA could start-up their computers and find about other interesting objectives for Cassini . . . Cassini could circle Venus until a good 'launch window' or rather 'continuation window' opens to somewhere else other than Earth. Perhaps the asteroid strip between Mars and Jupiter might be good target."

Dr. Martin B. Kalinowski, from Darmstadt, organizer of a large conference on the perils of Cassini at the Technical University Darmstadt, informs us that they are studying a possible suit against the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Space Agency's Operation Center (ESOC) and the German Federal Government. Also, a third attempt is under way to take the 'Cassini issue' to the German Federal Court of Justice. A court injunction would order NASA to abort the Earth flyby. Regina Hagen is involved in developing the arguments for the two cases.

This newsletter is being sent to delegates of the United Nations, Members of the U.S. Congress, Environmental/Disarmament/Peace organizations and individuals around the world.

Help us stop the Cassini Earth flyby
and please,
encourage groups you work with to contact us endorsing this campaign

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This page was updated: January 7, 1998 by The NoFlyby Webmaster

This site is hosted on The Nonviolence Web and is an affiliated Project of Traprock Peace Center (103A Keets Road, Deerfield, MA 01342). Together we explore nonviolence, foster Community, work to end war, promote communication and take initiatives on environmental and justice issues.