STOP CASSINI EARTH FLYBY
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
A. Announcement in Nonviolence Web News
B. Alternative missions for Cassini - not involving an Earth flyby
C. Action Input from our readers
"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."
"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:
"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."
"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."
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)
Registration forms available at http://www.afn.org/~fcpj/space/globe/meeting.htm#reg
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