Replay to Attn of: S
Mr. Russell D. Hoffman
Dear Mr. Hoffman:
Thank you for your letter and printed version of your web site dated April 26, 1997, to NASA administrator Daniel S. Goldin concerning the Cassini mission to Saturn. Your materials were forwarded to me for a response.
We appreciate your concern in taking the time to read and comment on all our informational material. However, I would like to emphasize that the information contained and referenced in our Environmental Impact Statements, fact sheets, and web site are the best available, factual information relating to risks associated with the Cassini mission. Your 36 points commenting on the Cassini Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement will be addressed in the Cassini Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and made available to the public.
Additionally, before launching NASA spacecraft with RTGs, thorough and detailed safety tests and analyses of the consequences of potential accidents are conducted. The nuclear safety analyses for a mission undergo independent evaluations by nationally or internationally recognized experts. Knowledgable representatives from other Federal agencies who have special expertise in nuclear materials also evaluate these analyses. These evaluations are presented to and considered by the NASA Administrator prior to a decision to launch.
Earle K. Huckins III
Deputy Associate Administrator for Space Science