logo Plutonium NoFlyby Statement
WE, the undersigned, support the objectives of abolishing technologies and weapons that threaten the mass destruction of life.  

In particular we oppose the scheduled flyby of Earth on August 18, 1999, by the Cassini space probe. The record-speed and the record-plutonium on board pose unnecessary risks to life and should be abandoned.

NASA and the nuclear industry underplay the harmful impact of radiation exposure.

Space programs have already released destructive amounts of plutonium radiation into our atmosphere by nine documented accidents. The Cassini space probe is carrying a record load of Plutonium-238 on board. Even if it had merely been upgraded to today's plutonium powerpack yield rates, it could have used 5 times less plutonium. This demonstrates how little NASA is concerned about how much plutonium they use.

On 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. Other solar options have been identified by NASA's own scientists and engineers, as long ago as 1985, well before the Cassini mission was designed. Why doesn't NASA devote the time and effort to develop solar technologies for the mission?

NASA is motivated not by beneficial science for humanity, but by a desire for military funding. Using nuclear power on scientific missions where alternative technologies exist can only be explained by a desire to get the public used to using nuclear power in space, which is a critical step in their plans toward the weaponization of space. This space policy jeopardizes the health of everybody on Earth.

The June 1995 NASA Environmental Impact Statement reports, "In the unlikely event that a VVEJA or VEEGA inadvertent reentry occurred, approximately 5 billion of the estimated 7 to 8 billion world population at the time of the swingbys could receive 99 percent or more of the radiation exposure."

A Cassini flyby accident could DOUBLE the current man-made radiation activity in our atmosphere. There is a debate among scientists about how much damage this would cause. NASA claims that only "2,300 health effects could occur over a 50-year period." Dr. Ernest Sternglass, professor emeritus of radiological physics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine said that they underestimate the cancer alone by thousands of times and there are new studies showing that low-levels of radioactivity are disproportionately more damaging than high levels." Such a dangerous mission is ludicrously irresponsible. NASA recently disclosed that 13 additional plutonium-fueled space shots are possible in coming years. So, even if Cassini avoids an accident, NASA plans to continue to put humanity and life at risk.

It is time to change the destructive path of the Nuclear Military Complex, which continues to poison our Earth in the pursuit of its hellish profits. We believe it is wrong, in every aspect, to tax people to fund their projects, which are a total disregard for the sacredness and health of all life, as well as for science, the scientific method and for our democratic free choice and right not to be threatened.

NASA plans to direct the Cassini space probe around Venus toward Earth on June 24, 1999. We have time and the responsibility to question the safety of flybys and launches carrying dangerous amounts of plutonium on board. It is time to say NO! to the heralding of another destructive atomic age before we enter a new millennium. We call upon our national officials, religious leaders, and each individual to question NASA's "right" to jeopardize life.

We call for Congressional Hearings to review the risks of the Cassini Earth flyby.

". . . While we have much to learn through the exploration of space, in this instance the grave potential danger posed by the plutonium on the probe would seem to outweigh the potential benefit from this mission. It is too important to squander the public's trust on such a risky mission. A NASA that all Americans can support instills hope for the future, not fear of tragedy . . ." (Letter to President Clinton, dated 9/26/97, signed by 15 members of U.S. Congress.)

Please sign-on to this statement and help distribute to the mainstream public, i.e., letters to the editor, news releases, bullentin boards, etc..

More than 100 Organizations have endorsed the Plutonium NoFlyby Statement.
You too can endorse the statement by E-mailing info@flybynews.com or by writing to:

NoFlyby Action Site
P.O. Box 1999,
Wendell Depot, MA 01380

For more information see http://www.nonviolence.org/noflyby

Original Signatories:


Action Site to Stop Cassini Earth Flyby
Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice
Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space
Grandmothers for Peace International
Proposition 1 - Peace through Reason
"Stoppt Cassini" Campaign
The Nonviolent Web
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (Metro, NY)


Tina Bell
Helen Caldicott
Bruce Gagnon
Karl Grossman
Jonathan Haber
Regina Hagen
Russell Hoffman
Michio Kaku
Brian Keaney
Martin Kelley
Ross McCluney
Joe McIntire
Kai Petzke
Ernest Sternglass
Bill Sulzman
Ellen Thomas
Harvey Wasserman
Barbara Wiedner

View the complete list of signatories (regularly updated)

NoFlyby Home Page
NoFlyby Table of Contents

The NoFlyby site needs your support!

This page was last revised 3/2/99 9:54:09 AM 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.