April 25th, 2005:  NASA/ PENTAGON, HOW COULD YOU?

As if New Horizons and Prometheus weren't bad enough, now we learn that YES, Global Network was "infiltrated"!  But by WHO?  Gagnon was one of the main TARGETS!  Here's what Bruce Gagnon, subject of much undeserved speculation at this very web site, has ACTUALLY been going through: 


As the Global Network (GN) prepares for its 13th annual space organizing conference in New York City, on April 29-30 [2005], a call came into our office today [4/21/2005] from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The ACLU office in Brevard County, Florida (where NASA and the Kennedy Space Center are located) called to inform the Global Network that an ACLU investigation of the Brevard County Sheriff's department has revealed 600-700 pages of internal files documenting extensive infiltration and surveillance of the Global Network and other anti-war activities in the county during recent years.  The files contained descriptions of Global Network members as being "anti-American."

The ACLU investigation, which began last January, also revealed that NASA was gathering information on European demonstrations against the launching of weapons and nuclear power in space during recent years.  In addition, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI), based in Tampa, Florida, had infiltrated the Global Network as late as October of 2002 during the organization's annual Keep Space for Peace Week.

According to the ACLU the investigations centered on Global Network Coordinator Bruce Gagnon and Global Network members Mary Beth Sullivan and Maria Telesca.  In addition to infiltration of the organization, the ACLU noted that the investigations included background checks, driving histories, address histories, as well as other information gathering activities.

The ACLU has requested permission to pursue legal action on behalf of Bruce, Mary Beth, and Maria.  The ACLU intends to attempt to retrieve all surveillance files gathered on Global Network members and to pursue a possible lawsuit.

Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 729-0517
(207) 319-2017 (Cell phone) (GN's blog)

Poor Bruce, that's all I can say!  First I owe him an apology, and now the whole US Government does!

We have contacted Mr. Gagnon and offered all possible assistance in this matter.

April 22nd, 2005 -- New Horizons and Prometheus are STILL a lousy gamble! (incl. letter to the North County Times which was not (surprise surprise) published)

November 15th, 2004 -- Cassini / Huygens still a lousy gamble (Letter to North County Times (not published))

September 8th, 2004: Who would have THUNK it?

August 18th, 2004 -- Nuclear INSecurity; Prometheus, Re-introducing Gagnon, Hagen, Becker, Rosin, Mark.

MRS. CASSINI (July 25th, 2004)  (addenda)

July 28th, 2004 -- An Open Letter To Teresa Kerry regarding Cassini, Galileo, and Apollo

June 30th. 2004 -- Cassini Arrives



Click here to go to the Shut San Onofre web site, where the current efforts (circa 2000 and on) of the webmaster of this web site can be found:

Thank you!

NASA flies in the face of reason...

Cassini was launched (successfully) on 10/15/97 and did its flyby of Earth on August 17th, 1999, about 8:30 Pacific Standard Time. We continue to oppose this mission because of the continued (though deminished) dangers.

At this web site is the tragic, underreported, covered-up, hidden true history of NASA and nuclear power, and suggestions for what you can do to help stop the continued madness.

What is Cassini?

Cassini is an unmanned NASA deep space probe which was launched in October, 1997 Although the probe will ultimately be headed towards Saturn, it first headed towards Venus and has already done one flyby's of that planet. On June 24th, 1999 Cassini did another flyby of Venus, then it headed BACK TOWARDS EARTH for a flyby of this planet at just 312 miles above the Earth (June 1995 NASA EIS. In the June 1997 FSEIS the figure was raised to 496 miles above the surface of the Earth. They raised it again and again in a phoney attempt to look like they have listened to our pleas. It is a ruse! (It ended up about 725 miles away when it actually did the flyby.) The purpose of the Venus and Earth flybys was to gain additional speed for the trip to Saturn. It will still take almost five years from the time of the flyby to the arrival in the vicinity of Saturn.

The danger of the Earth flyby was that Cassini was traveling at approximately 43,000 miles per hour. A slight malfunction, miscalculation, or a random collision with any of billions of pieces of space debris could have resulted in the probe, and its deadly plutonium, reentering earth's atmosphere and thereby incinerating its deadly cargo. NASA claimed the chance of such an accident resulting in a plutonium release was one in one million. Many have never agreed with that assessment. NASA in particular is ignoring the fact that ANY accident can leave the probe in an orbit around the solar system that might later intersect ours -- even after the flyby, we might still be "attacked" by this probe! [April 5th, 2002 news item: Astronomers have doubled their estimate of the number of asteroids in the solar system to over a million (specifically, 1/2 mile or greater in size). This, in turn, means that Cassini had twice the risk from large asteroids as previously calculated, and who-knows-how-many-times-the-risk from small asteroids (a pinhead could destroy it, just as, it was built and launched by pinheads).]

Additionally, if an accident does happen which impacts Earth (this is possible even long after the flyby), NASA's published estimates of the extent of the damage are absurdly low and are based on horrific misrepresentations -- "bad science". Cassini represents a true "catastrophe waiting to happen". Not only does NASA refuse to use its own prior shoddy performance record as an indication of its true expected failure rate, but they refuse to use good scientific methodologies to achieve proper estimates of what the effects of an accident might be, in the "unlikely" event that one does occur. However, NASA has covered themselves in the event of an accident: Insurance claims against NASA and the United States Government in the event of a Cassini nuclear accident have been artificially limited by an inappropriate use of a monstrosity of legislation known as the Price-Anderson Act.

Why is Cassini so dangerous?

Cassini contains over 72 pounds of a radioactive substance called Plutonium Dioxide. Plutonium is commonly referred to as "the deadliest substance known to man" and for good reason. The isotope of plutonium used in Cassini, Pu-238, is especially dangerous because of it's rapid rate of radioactive decay. It has a very short half-life (87.75 years) which means it emits radiation (in this case mainly alpha particles) at a very high rate. Although it is true that alpha particles can be stopped by a piece of paper, when even a tiny, microscopic particle of Plutonium 238 is inhaled, the localized radiation (the radiation to nearby cells) can be 1000's of REM, and it can cause lung cancer and other illnesses. Ingestion is much less hazardous but is still far from safe.

Most potential Cassini launch accidents -- especially "late-launch" accidents over Africa, Madagascar, and then over or near Australia and New Zealand -- would have resulted in some release of the plutonium fuel, and all "flyby" accident scenarios were expected to result in the release of "32% to 34%" of the Plutonium Dioxide, according to NASA itself! In a flyby accident, NASA estimated that from 20% to 66% of the released portion of the fuel will be in the form of respirable particles (less than 10 microns in size). (These figures are from pages 4-51 of the June 1995 EIS. In the June 1997 EIS they reduced these values by about an order of magnitude. Yet they say this is a well understood technology which they have decades of experience with!)

Plutonium Dioxide in the environment WILL cause death, illness, and genetic mutations for centuries, not just to humans but to potentially all life forms, including the other mammals, fish, and fowl that many of us use for sustenance (i.e., eat them).

The science about Saturn which Cassini seeks to solve is not worth the cancers Cassini can cause, especially when the same science could be achieved safely, if not this year, certainly soon. Saturn isn't going anywhere and if we take care of our environment, neither are we. The challenge of mankind as we enter the new millennium is to solve the #1 pressing problem on the planet: Environmental degradation. Cassini is part of the problem, it is not part of the solution.

Facts about Cassini:

Cassini contains more plutonium than NASA had ever launched into space before. It was launched atop a Titan IV rocket which have nearly a 10% failure rate (2 huge failures in just 25 launches, the last being AFTER Cassini was risked on board these babies, on August 12th, 1998. It was a dangerous mistake to use these faulty rockets, as any reasonable person can plainly see now.) NASA's record of safety in nuclear issues has been terrible, despite NASA claims otherwise. And, the plutonium is not even necessary! It is only used for generating "a modest amount of electricity" as Karl Grossman, an award winning investigative journalist, writes.

NASA has over 6 billion dollars invested Cassini, which is way above the original estimate. Because of budget limitations the scientific experiments themselves were not "shake tested" prior to launch -- only the probe itself underwent this important step. This increases the chance that we underwent the terrible risks associated with the flyby, and then we will not even be able to get ANY science back at all!

Answers to NASA Documents:

NASA has published a number of documents to support their assertions about the safety of the Cassini mission. Some of these documents even purport to answer the opposition's charges about Cassini, but such documents as I have seen misrepresent the opposition's arguments.

We have answered many of these documents and have posted those answers at this web site along with the original documents. If you want to hear only NASA's side, we link directly to NASA's web site. But if you want to hear BOTH sides, you have come to the right place. Please, especially read our newsletters!

What do NASA supporters say?

Since this web site was first begun in January, 1997, a number of people have contacted us and attempted to argue NASA's side for them. We have posted a series of correspondences with those people. Again, we are trying to present BOTH sides so that you may decide for yourself. We think the facts are with us so the more full our presentation, the better. We also link extensively both to NASA and to other pro-nuke web sites. YOU DECIDE. Yes, we have an opinion. Yes, we hope you will join us in voicing opposition to Cassini. But this web site tries to be fair. YOU DECIDE. The fate of the world, for once, is in YOUR hands. I am sure that future generations will thank you if you choose to help us.

What is our newsletter about?

We publish an occasional (about once or twice a week) newsletter about Cassini which you can subscribe to and redistribute electronically or in printed form. It's free and available electronically for the asking. It contains notifications of updates to this web site and other current Cassini news. The newsletters are usually later published at this site.

What you can do:

The most important thing you can do to help, after learning about Cassini yourself, is to contact your elected officials and tell them you oppose Cassini because of the nuclear payload. The next most important thing you can do is undoubtedly to teach others about it as well. And the next most important thing? Join an organization that opposes Cassini and wants to protect the environment! We link to many of these organizations around the world from our "FRIENDS OF THE STOP CASSINI WEB SITE" page.

About this web site:

This web site is organized two ways: On this page (the "home" page) there is the overview of the issues (above) and below are links to various articles which discuss these issues in greater depth. For those who want to explore further, we also have a more complete TABLE OF CONTENTS, which is generally in REVERSE CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER with the latest articles listed at the top. There are also a few areas, such as listings of NASA documents, where there are additional lists of web pages you can access and read. When printed and sent to President Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, and several Senators in April, 1997, this web site was around an inch thick (single-sided) and of course, it continues to grow. There is a lot to read here and we hope you will enjoy reading it, and will want to come back for new items and new information. Also, we are always interested in hearing your opinions and if you have any facts you think we should know about, please drop us an email!

Thank You,
Russell D. Hoffman


What is Cassini?

Cassini: An In-Depth Look

A look at the types of accidents that can occur, and some of the social, political, and health issues involved.
Now that Cassini has been launched, is the flyby the only thing left to worry about?
Not at all! There can be many a slip betwixt cup and lip.
United Nations Outer Space Treaty:
The United States co-wrote it and signed it. Now we're ignoring it.
The Price-Anderson Act and Cassini:
Is Cassini insured? Hardly! It's a loophole called Price-Anderson.
From Launch to flyby
Even after the flyby the risk is not zero, but the gain may well be.

Why is Cassini dangerous?

Cassini Cancers: The Plutonium Story.
By Dr. Horst Poehler. Dr. Poehler worked for NASA contractors as a senior scientist for over 30 years.
Accident Risks for the Cassini Mission.
By Dr. Michio Kaku, Henry Semat Professor of Theoretical Physics at City University of New York. (Includes brief bio of Dr. Kaku.)
Dr. Sternglass and Me:
An interview conducted April 8th, 1997 by Russell D. Hoffman.
Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Cassini Mission
This is a 36-point commentary on a NASA document known as a DSEIS. It describes in detail the many ways NASA has reduced the apparent risk, without reducing the actual risk at all! NASA's rebutted these comments in the June 1997 FSEIS, then we submitted a rebuttal to NASA's rebuttal.

Facts about Cassini:


What is an RTG? A Titan SRM? A GPHS? An RHU? A Diagram of Cassini? A Diagram Showing the Liquid Fuel Tanks?
NASA Documentation
We have scanned in a number of pages from NASA's June 1995 Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Cassini Mission.

Answers to NASA Documents:

FALSE, TRUE... and TRUER. An answer to a NASA/JPL document.
This NASA/JPL document purports to answer their critics. It doesn't. It doesn't even begin to.
STOP CASSINI Newsletter #9, May 5th, 1997
An answer to a JPL/NASA statement regarding NASA's own estimates of a launch accident and its potential.
A look at NASA's own documents
A dissection of an article published by NASA on the World Wide Web.

What do NASA supporters say?

A correspondence between opposing forces:
A series of emails between Mike Pelletier and Russell Hoffman. This email from Hoffman discusses NASA documentation about Cassini's RTG's.
"Chicken Little and the Egg (on one's face)."
An answer to Keith Cowing, Editor of NASA WATCH.
Answers to an Email: Ball Bearings and Nuclear Power
A correspondence with someone who is for Cassini.
Also see our newsletters for many additional debates with pro-nuclear Cassini people.

What are the newsletters about?

Index of previous issues.
Subscription Information.

What you can do:

Outside links to "friends of this web site"
Our thanks to each of these sites. Please visit them.
A final article: High Tech Environmentalism.
Some final thoughts on Empowerment.


A note from the Publisher
Why this web site exists, and why I believe in what we are saying. By Russell D. Hoffman, Webmaster for this STOP CASSINI web site.



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Last modified Fall, 2004.
Webwiz: Russell D. Hoffman