STOP CASSINI Newsletter #109 -- April 3rd, 1999

Copyright (c) 1999

STOP CASSINI Newsletters Index

To: Subscribers, Press, Government Officials

Subject: : A Tribute to Valentine Delgado -- STOP CASSINI #109

Date: April 3rd, 1999

Time Frame: There are just 82 days left until the last appropriate moment of redirection of the Cassini probe - the flyby of Venus, 7 weeks before the flyby of Earth.


Here is letter written in response to a letter written in response to a letter published in THE OKANAGAN SATURDAY, written by Hans Karow, and other Stop Cassini news.

Russell D. Hoffman, Founder and Editor

Today's Subjects:

Letter to the Editor, The Okanagan (Canada)


Dear Editor:

I read with interest the "startling facts" stated by Mr. Karow and C. Maleipaard regarding the Cassini mission to Saturn.

Cassini has nothing to do with trying to find life or its origins. It is a well planned and relatively inexpensive mission to gather data about the second largest planet in our solar system. Indeed, the more we learn about distant worlds and their hostile environments the more we appreciate how unique and fragile our planet Earth is.

Since Saturn is more than a billion kilometres away, mission planners are using a "gravity assist" manoeuver that will use the gravity of Venus (twice), Earth, and then Jupiter to attain the required velocity to reach Saturn in a reasonable time.

The chances of a collision with Earth are approximately one in one million, regardless of any failure of the spacecraft. This may be difficult to believe and is due to the sheer vastness of space, as any school math teacher can demonstrate.

The U. S. Department of Energy conducted extensive tests on the RTGs (radioisotope thermal generators). These were exposed to solid and liquid propellant fires, blast waves of 19,600 psi, simulated module reentry and Earth impact, immersion in corrosive seawater, and shrapnel (including impact with titanium projectiles.) All but a few highly improbable scenarios cased no release of plutonium. I feel much less threatened by the plutonium on board Cassini than I do about the real potential horror of Handford [sic] Nuclear Reservation barely 200 kilometers south of us.

It is unfair to criticize space exploration using the ridiculous argument that other beneficial research such as Medicare suffers as a result.

If we are to evolve as a peaceful and knowledgeable civilization we must conduct as much scientific research as possible.

I invite anyone interested in amateur astronomy and visual satellite observing to visit my web site:

There I try to present facts, no embellished misinformation.

Allen Snowdon


"Improbable scenarios"? See page 4-51 of the 1995 EIS for the Cassini mission. Besides, just exactly how improbably does mass murder have to be?


To: Editor, The Okanagan
550 Doyle Ave. Kelowna BC CANADA V1Y 7V1
Fax - (250) 762-3866 E-mail:

From: Russell Hoffman, Webmaster,
STOP CASSINI web site (URL & contact information shown below)
cc: other local papers, others
Subject: Allen Snowdon's letter of March 27th in the Okanagan Sunday
Date: March 29th, 1999

To The Editor:

I would like to respond to Allen Snowdon's letter in the Okanagan Saturday of March 27th, 1999. I have studied NASA's reports on the Cassini spacecraft intensively for two years now, as webmaster of what is probably (by "hits" or "links") the #1 site opposed to Cassini (URL given, below) and as founder and editor of the STOP CASSINI newsletter, now in its 108th issue. I have also interviewed dozens of scientists and activists on both sides of the debate.

First of all, it must be understood that Cassini is the civilian excuse for a major military nuclear movement -- into space. NASA proposes these "deep space" (a misnomer, really) missions simply as a cover for the development and use of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) for the United States military, in orbit about the Earth. That is why, right now, they are proposing new nuclear missions as far out as Pluto! This may also explain how NASA could completely misuse their own reports in support of the Cassini mission -- I refer specifically to the 1981 D. E. Rockey et al JPL report which clearly indicated that solar would have worked for the Galileo mission to Jupiter, yet that same report was misquoted to indicate the exact opposite in NASA's official 1995 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Cassini mission!

In the balance, I am quite certain that these sorts of lies do more harm to science and to society than the good which might come from any "scientific" discovery NASA might make, especially since it has been shown that now or in the very near future, the exact same science goals can be attained without the risk, using solar options. Saturn is one of the brightest objects one sees when one looks up in the sky at night. Don't be fooled. It gets plenty of sunlight. NASA is risking global catastrophe from incinerated plutonium 238 instead of working to prevent cancer or make traffic light systems that all work in a nice sequence, or instead of designing new high-speed bullet trains. These are all things NASA could be doing under its operational mandates. Indeed, building better solar energy panels could be one of the most useful "trickle-down" technologies NASA could ever give us -- far more useful than Tang, which is probably their best-known "high-technology" gift to the public in their 40+ years of existence.

Mr. Snowdon claims that Cassini has "nothing to do with trying to find life or its origins". I wish that were so, because there are many more proper uses of the approximately $4 billion USD here on Earth for unraveling those mysteries, but on page 108 of the afore-mentioned 1995 EIS, it's there in black and white! Cassini is in fact the last of the so called "big missions", now that "faster, lighter, cheaper" is the motto of the day at NASA, although Mr. Snowdon considers Cassini "relatively inexpensive". I would hate to imagine what he would consider an expensive mission!

I am most disgusted by Mr. Snowdon's statement that this arrogant and callous act on NASA's part should then cause us to "appreciate how unique and fragile our planet Earth is". In particular, I am astounded to hear him use the word "unique"! Why? Because he thinks that a one in one million chance of foisting Cassini's 72.3 pounds of plutonium dioxide on Earth's 6 billion (EACH unique!) individuals is a fair risk to learn something about a planet even he admits is little more than a "hostile environment"! What does he think the area under Cassini's plume will be, should it reenter Earth's atmosphere in August, 1999 or any other time?! Any failure now would leave Cassini in an orbit that "tends" (NASA's own word, page B-4 of the 1995 EIS) to be in the vicinity of our own planet's orbit. What risk is worth such destruction to our "unique and fragile" planet and its inhabitants?

Certainly, the answer can only be "none", especially when one considers the lies NASA presents to back this folly! Please visit my web site for more information. There we have numerous articles by professional and respected scientists, activists, and also reprints of NASA's own documentation, proving our case against this particular mission and the nuclear policies of NASA and Russia in general.

Thank you,


Russell Hoffman
Carlsbad CA


1995 EIS, Page 1-8: "The mission would not only provide clues to the evolution of the solar system but would also help increase the current understanding of the origin of life."

1995 EIS, Page B-4: "Failures on legs targeted towards Earth or Venus would tend to result in spacecraft trajectories that remain in the vicinity of Earth's orbit."

1995 EIS, Page 1-104 indicates that if the probe becomes uncontrollable and impacts Earth decades later (when only a fraction of the Pu would have decayed, since most has a half-life of 87.75 years), the containment system Mr. Snowdon relies so heavily on could be even more useless than it already is: "With respect to the long-term inadvertent reentry accident, the performance and behavior of the materials used in the RTGs after many years (a decade to millennia) in a space environment are highly uncertain. Therefore, the response of the GPHS modules and GISs in the long-term inadvertent reentry is also highly uncertain". The amazing thing is, rather than assuming a full release for these latter accidents, NASA assumes the same order of magnitude of release as "for the short term VVEJGA inadvertent reentry."

Excerpts from The National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, as Amended:
Section 102:

(a) The Congress hereby declares that it is the policy of the United States that activities in space should be devoted to peaceful purposes for the benefit of all mankind."

also consider:

(d) The aeronautical and space activities of the United States shall be conducted so as to contributed materially to one or more of the following objectives: (1) The expansion of human knowledge of the Earth and of the phenomena in the atmosphere and space. (2) The improvement of the usefulness, performance, speed, safety, and efficiency of aeronautical and space vehicles.[...]" Note that that would include solar-powered mag-lev rail systems. For these the public would gladly give NASA many billions of dollars.

Relevant Terms:

Note: Mr. Snowdon (and NASA) fails to mention these; there are about 130 of them on Cassini, and ALL of them are fully expected by NASA to be vaporized in a Cassini reentry accident, each with about 2.7 grams of plutonium (that is several million lethal doses' worth in EACH RHU). The certainty of the probability of release is documented in several portions of the 1997 FSEIS, such as on page D-3: "there is a conditional probability of 1.0 that there would be a radiological release from the LWRHU". The Table on page D-4 indicates a "mean source term, Ci" of 622. That is a lot of plutonium to vaporize into the atmosphere, and that is just from the RHUs. (In any event, one must ignore NASA's little absurdity of a "mean source term" for something with a probability of 1.0!)

Please visit my web site for more information:

URL for a copy of the D. E. Rockey report, in full (NASA would not post this!):


Anyone who wants to, of course, should feel free to work that item into a letter of their own and send it to their local paper! --rdh

A link we like:

Every so often we search the Internet for keywords related to this campaign, and find things like links to us we never knew about. We are so thankful for these! We know there are probably hundreds if not thousands of such links and wish we could thank them all (and visit them). Here's one:

It is mostly in Finnish but looks really neat!

Baltimore anti-Cassini activists:

Here's another contact regarding the anti-Cassini movement. This was found on the web as well, this morning:

Baltimore Peace Network c/o Baltimore Jobs With Peace, 100 S. WashingtOm St., Baltimore, MD 21231 Phone (410) 342-7404.

The dilution solution to pollution:

An article, written before the launch but found today while surfing the net, claims to be "for the technically minded" and includes a number of interesting facts about plutonium, but it also assumes a completely even spread of the plutonium around the environment, it assumes there were no safe alternatives to using the filthy substance, and it assumes the reader is dumb enough to think science has studied the exact effects of low-level plutonium exposure in the first place! It also assumes everyone who gets a dose will be a healthy white male adult; all their studies assume that. The article's conclusions could be off by many orders of magnitude, and chance alone protects us, not good science. (Science finds productive alternatives to such absurdly dangerous missions.) It is particularly interesting to see the author dismiss the Pu 239 on board equally along with the oxygen, as though not being Pu 238 makes Pu 239 safe. It is more than two orders of magnitude less dangerous, but that hardly makes it safe!

Home page:

Quote from the article:

"The 72lb of Cassini fuel is actually nearly 30% oxygen and less active Pu isotopes, so is only 50 lb Pu-238 = 23 kg = 400,000 Ci (about 17 Ci/g)."

That's only as many Ci of plutonium as all the bomb testing in history put into the environment. People are dying by the billions of cancer, all around the world, yet we have such an easy chance to prevent some of these deaths, and instead, the author uses these same billions of deaths as an excuse for more -- namely, that statistically, Cassini's deaths will be mixed in with so many others. What a disgusting use of statistics!

There but for the grace of God go I (or you, for that matter):

This news clip is from within the past few days. See newsletter #85's article "Mountain Biking, Nostradamus & Cassini" for why it appears here:


Migrant worker falls off bike, dies.

North County Times

SAN MARCOS -- A migrant worker died after falling off a bicycle and into a ditch that runs along a steep San Marcos roadway, authorities said.

Valentine Delgado left his sister's home on Old Oak Ridge around 9 p.m. Wednesday and was riding a bicycle to the migrant camp where he lived less than a mile away, San Marcos sheriff's Deputy Rich Williams said. Delgado was riding down a steep hill on Old Oak Ridge at Low Chaparral when he apparently lost control of the bicycle and fell into a deep ditch, medical examiner investigator Dan Matticks said.

He may have suffered head, neck or back injuries, authorities said. The bicycle wasn't damaged, leading investigators to believe Delgado wasn't hit by a vehicle, Williams said. Degado is believed to have been 44 years old, Williams said.


We do not know if Mr. Delgado was wearing a helmet, so please don't write and ask. Regardless, it is a chilling reminder once more, to give thanks.

Who was J. Robert Oppenheimer?

Here's a biographical sketch about Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer


On Dec. 21, 1953, he was notified of a military security report unfavourable to him and was accused of having associated with Communists in the past, of delaying the naming of Soviet agents, and of opposing the building of the hydrogen bomb. A security hearing declared him not guilty of treason but ruled that he should not have access to military secrets. As a result, his contract as adviser to the Atomic Energy Commission was cancelled. The Federation of American Scientists immediately came to his defense with a protest against the trial. Oppenheimer was made the worldwide symbol of the scientist, who, while trying to resolve the moral problems that arise from scientific discovery, becomes the victim of a witch-hunt. He spent the last years of his life working out ideas on the relationship between science and society.

The Cold War having declined, Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson in 1963 formalized Oppenheimer's reinstatement by presenting him the Enrico Fermi Award of the Atomic Energy Commission. He retired from Princeton in 1966 and died of throat cancer the following year. (Mi.Ro.)


During World War Two, Dr. John W. Gofman provided the plutonium for the Manhattan project from his lab in Berkeley, at the personal request of Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer. The government is a machine; it will chew up and discard anyone it thinks is in its way. The tidbit shown is particularly relevant to the Cassini debate because there are many people who right now, today, will destroy any American who attempts to speak out against the horrors of the nuclear age. Some of them pose as our friends, but unfortunately they are not our friends. Even "Oppie" got the shaft,after saving the free world. And perhaps, even Oppie simply could not justify serving a system that is designed to absorb all power, all weaponry, all so called "defenses" to the point where only one goal is attainable: The destruction of innocent lives. I do not fight war, so much as I fight collateral damage from war. If two soldiers want to fight, that has always been something that will happen. If two nations want to fight, it may not be possible to stop them. But there is no reason for each battle to result in destruction of the land for eons to come, in poisoning of the water and the air and the soil, and in the deaths of people who will not have even heard of the particular war that kills them, nor even of the people. If we cannot stop war, and even if some day we can, we still must come to admit, as a nation, that we must fight cleanly, that all nations must fight cleanly. Perhaps we will all destroy ourselves in a giant cataclysm of stupidity.

If so, let's at least leave the Earth in a pretty state for the next inhabitants, who hopefully will be smarter. We cannot condemn Saddam Hussien's madness on the oil fields on the one hand, and then plan for a equally vile but far more massive Mutually Assured Destruction from a nuclear exchange. China will not use nuclear weapons first. This they have promised. That is not enough. They must not be used first, second, third, last or ever. That is the only humane choice. No war today is worth destroying the only friendly planet we have ever found, and surely even if we find one, this is the only one we can get to -- and we are already here.

One should always remain keenly aware of all the apologists, cover-up artists, sycophants and other government toadies who speak volumes but accomplish so very little (usually, only enough to appear sincere, and no more, but who are filled with advice on better ways for you to behave), and who lead us to the brink, as if they wanted to get something done, but in reality it is done merely to practice brinksmanship. Beware of them for they will lead you not to a common goal, but to a common grave. Be not led, be not leashed. Be a leader, be unleashed. That is the purpose of this newsletter. That those of us who see the crimes, who have seen also the deaths of loved ones and the denial of the obvious, might believe that we are not alone in our struggle.

Quote of the Day:

"There can be no liberty for a community which lacks the means by which to detect lies." --Walter Lippmann, 1920




CANCEL CASSINI by JUNE 24th, 1999!!!!

To Cancel Cassini start by asking NASA for the 1995 Environmental Impact Statement for the Cassini Mission and all subsequent related documents (on paper, please!). Tell them you need it IMMEDIATELY (members of the world press should do this too). All citizens of the world are ENTITLED to these documents because of the global threat Cassini poses. Here's where to get information:

Cassini Public Information
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
(818) 354-5011

Tell them Russell Hoffman, founder and editor of the STOP CASSINI newsletter, sent you. I bet they love to hear that!

NASA states that they do not have the resources anymore to answer most emails they receive. Liars! They have $13 billion dollars to play with. They can answer the public's questions. At least, ask them one specific question: How many letters did they get opposing Cassini today? (And tell them you oppose it too!) If each reader asks them that...

Here's NASA's email address:

Daniel Goldin is the head of NASA. Here's his email address:

Here's the NASA URL to find additional addresses to submit written questions to:

(Note that it looks like possibly a temporary URL assignment, but you can always start at

They imply at the web site that written comments are more likely to get answered -- quicker than emailed comments! Someone should welcome them to the 1990's before it's too late.

Long time readers know lots of questions to ask them! Ask them why they don't link to our web site. Ask them why they haven't got rid of Daniel Goldin, the glassy-eyed fool. Ask them why they haven't sent you YOUR copy of the 1995 EIS for the Cassini mission! Ask them anything, but demand an answer! YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT NASA IS DOING TO YOUR HEALTH.

Be sure to "cc" the president and VP and your senators and congresspeople, too.

Always include your full name and postal address in all correspondence to any Government official of any country.


Please send any news directly to the editor at the email address given below.

Please post these newsletters EVERYWHERE! You can -- and should -- send them to news media too! Please tell your friends and neighbors and Internet buddies to subscribe! These words can have power, but only if they are passed on to many others!

Thanks for reading,

Russell D. Hoffman

Founder & Editor
STOP CASSINI Newsletter -- over 100 issues of mirth, merriment, and mind-numbingly depressing facts about NASA and other horrors


I don't know how it is in your country, but in our country, at least we have this:

Amendment One... "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble..."

Written in U.S.A.

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First placed online April 5th, 1999.
Last modified April 24th, 1999.
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