STOP CASSINI Newsletter #158 -- July 27th, 1999

Copyright (c) 1999

STOP CASSINI Newsletters Index

To: Subscribers, Press, Government Officials

Subject: Louis Friedman and Russell Hoffman agree on something, somewhere: STOP CASSINI #158

Date: July 27th, 1999

Time Frame: Cassini is scheduled to do the flyby of Earth August 18th, 1999 (August 17th in the USA) near Africa.

Today's Subjects:

(1) Someone at NASA wants me to comment on this; I don't know who:

The following email arrived this morning with no "subject" and the return address was simply "". I've never received anything from there before. These things CAN be faked, of course. Maybe I should add them to my STOP CASSINI NASA distribution email list!

Clearly, this is a topic that needs to be talked about TODAY in the STOP CASSINI newsletter. Someone, somewhere, insists.


Apparently-To: (

Politicans Celebrate Lunar Landing With Space Science Cuts

Pasadena July 26, 1999 - The House VA-HUD-IA Appropriations Subcommittee this evening voted to slash $1.3 billion from NASA's FY 2000 budget, which, could cripple the agency and force the termination of many critical space science missions, according to Dr. Louis Friedman, Executive Director of The Planetary Society.

"The House action gives new meaning to 'deep impact'," said Friedman. "The space science cuts are the most devastating in NASA's history and effectively curtail space exploration after 2001. It's an irresponsible budget that does terrible harm to America's future."

"NASA's budget has been reduced every year since 1992, and the proposed cuts would be the coup de grāce," Friedman added. "In the last decade NASA has led the federal government in accomplishing more for less. Now, these gains will be lost."

The Congressional action ironically occurs as NASA astronauts are in orbit launching Chandra, a new great observatory.

The House $1..3 (sic) billion cutback is about 10 percent of NASA's total funding ($13.665 billion). But the cut to the space science program, now $2.2 billion, is $640 million 29 percent!

If this action is passed by the full Congress, the planetary missions that would probably be terminated include:

Additional space and Earth science missions would also be cancelled.

"The House cuts fly in the face of recent Congressional studies that recommend investing more not less in science and technology," Friedman said. The full House recently passed the NASA authorization bill, which boosts spending above the Administration's request.

"If the House is truly serious about these cutbacks, it should hold hearings to allow for public comment," Friedman said. "At a minimum, a full and open debate about alternatives to ending the American role in space exploration should be held."

Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray and Louis Friedman founded the Planetary Society in 1979 to advance the exploration of the solar system and to continue the search for extraterrestrial life. With 100,000 members in more than 140 countries, the Society is the largest space interest group in the world. This mean (sic) that all these science missions atre (sic) maybe dad (sic), Europa Orbiter first.. (sic)


The typos, especially in the last sentence (and it's odd placement within the document) indicate what? That the letter is altered, hastily delivered, corrupted by the computer system? Who knows?

Louis Friedman is right, that public comment should be allowed. I am delighted to finally have the opportunity to be in FULL agreement with him on something! He is likewise right that alternatives should be discussed. But it's pure hyperbole to say these cuts would "[end] America's role in space exploration." Truth is, we would still be "#1 with a bullet". (A plutonium bullet, to be exact.)

I have NEVER said I thought NASA's budget should be cut -- unless they cannot get it through their thick skulls that we want science that is TRULY in the public interest! I am GLAD to see the elected officials are responding to the fact that the public is FED UP with NASA LIES.

But is this the proper response? Not at all! This doesn't cancel all the nuclear missions, and only the nuclear missions. It's just a routine amputation when the public is upset with a federal agency. And the public, I believe, is mighty upset with NASA these days. It appears that perhaps NASA's arrogance has finally started to get the best of them.

The total budget we are talking about is little more than beer money for the nation -- no, not even that. America consumes nearly $100 Billion dollars' worth of beer each year, and NASA's budget is only $13.7 Billion dollars!

I believe the purpose of threatening to cut the budget is to anger the many scientists who were hamstrung by false assurances of safety from their own "experts", and NASA's strange alliance with the military. Their jobs are now threatened because of purported disinterest on the part of the public, or even upsetness, or even anger. But that is not really what is threatening their jobs at all. What really threatens them is that NASA needs to appear to be responding to complaints and yet they cannot "come clean" and give up the nuclear option, which is what people want them to do!

They can't even admit that's the problem. Unfortunately, they have to keep flying a few civilian RTG (plutonium) missions to keep the operation active for the military uses to occur "in secret". They can't "do the right thing" here, and become compassionate and civic-minded and then be loved once again by humanity. Instead they have to support a dead snake called Plutonium. (And like a dead rattlesnake, even a dead NASA can bite us, as the trash from their previous failures falls back to Earth.)

Had NASA not gone with the nuclear options, it would not have incurred the wrath of the public, and none of this would be happening. Their budget, meager to begin with (for what they are accomplishing), would not be cut further if people actually LIKED NASA! And people would like NASA if NASA worked for the people. But as part of a military agenda, they have lied to the American public. As brazen mad scientists go, they have been proven time and again, in both spectacular and insidious fashion, to be both fallible and foolhardy. They've been unmasked.

In newsletter #114 (April 14th, 1999) we discussed a far smaller budget item -- $13 million, a thousandth of NASA's budget. Orbital Sciences Corp. Dulles, Virginia was awarded a contract to assist the U. S. Department of Energy (DoE) in developing nuclear space power sources under a five-year contract potentially worth $13 million. This contract was for "space and ground-based applications."

THAT is the budget item that must be cut! Not NASA's space exploration budget! Unless, of course, NASA and their supporters (like Louis Friedman) cannot learn to separate the mad-scientist efforts to loft 400,000 Curies of plutonium into space from honest and fruitful research into "the exploration of the solar system and ... the search for extraterrestrial life".

As long as NASA continues to delude themselves into thinking that their (so far, utterly futile) search for ET and "exploration" of big cold far away lifeless boulders is worth horrific risks to millions of unique, living people on Earth, NASA doesn't have their priorities straight and their budget should continue to be cut back. They abuse their mandate and their mission.

And meanwhile, their rockets get more and more rickety. We just came much closer than is comfortable, to losing the $1.5 BIllion Chandra X-Ray Observatory as well as the Space Shuttle Columbia and its crew. We'll find out more about what actually happened after Columbia lands and they are able to study exactly why some hydrogen tubes leaked and an engine controller shorted out, but at this point it sounds like something that will require major overhauls of the engines to ensure it won't happen again. Also, after departing the Shuttle, Chandra's second stage burn underperformed, leaving it in an orbit which is about 900 kilometers lower than planned.

All in all, I think NASA had a lucky week. It could have been worse. The Agency could have been dismantled completely so that a less corrupt one could be built in its place.

(2) Alpha tracks after internal contamination


Date: Mon, 26 Jul 1999 18:18:51 -0700
From: ccd (
Organization: ccd
To: "Russell D. Hoffman" (
Subject: plutonium particle trapped in lung of an ape.

Microscopic (invisible) Plutonium particle trapped in an ape-lung. (See below.) Copied from "Nuclear Wastelands".

Alpha tracks after internal contamination are scientifically proven the most damaging form of radiation. Alpha radiation of one such particle can easily cause cancer, birth defects a.s.o.

Trillions of such particles will be released after the 'burn-up' of the Cassini space-probe in the earth's atmosphere. This size of particle can easily round the world on the wind because their speed in air is so low. (Stokes law.) The particles can be inhaled by millions of people and animals. It will be trapped in the food chain and eaten many years later by rich and poor.



The picture has been posted at:

From NY Public Library Science Desk Reference (Macmillan, NY, 1995, page 306):
"Stokes, Sir George Gabriel (1819 - 1903) British mathematician and physicist who described how a small body falls through a fluid and thus the mathematical behavior of viscous fluid flow. His calculations were included in a formula called Stokes Law."

(3) Potential Threats to the United States and What We Should Do About Them (Phase 1)

(Here is the beginning of the document; to find the rest (it's about 6 pages, printed) please visit our web site.)

Written by Russell D. Hoffman
Founder and Editor

Senators Chris Dodd and Bob Bennett
Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem
SD-B40 U.S. Senate
Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5224

Mr. John Koskinen
Chair, President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion
Room 216, OEOB, White House
Washington DC 20502

Senator Gordon Smith
Y2K Senate Committee
359 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510

cc: President Bill Clinton,
First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton,
other elected officials, media,
Y2K worldwide discussion group (,
STOP CASSINI newsletter subscribers, family, friends, etc.

Dear Sirs:

I believe that the combination "Y2K-and-Nukes" issue is practically the only thing your various committees should be concerned about. When that problem has been solved, we can consider the rest. Otherwise, you will be missing a sense of scale. You will be looking at a living, snarling dinosaur and calling it a harmless gnat.

The potential size of a disaster from Y2K problems at nuclear power plants is on par with significant asteroid impacts, nuclear war and other genocidal events. There are NO guarantees that ANY nuclear power plant in the country is safe from Y2K-related failures and even if they were ALL somehow PROVEN to be free from Y2K bugs, they are still vulnerable to an EMP attack, terrorism, nuclear war (accidental or on purpose) and 1000 other dangers.


[... end clip ... ]

The Internet home of the above document (where the rest of it can be read) is:

More information about the Y2K and Nukes issues can be obtained from the y2k-nuclear news group:

You will need to sign in. It is run by Paul Swann (

(4) How the ICRP and all the rest lied to us:

Subject: How International Nuclear "Scientists" Lie To Us:

A Critique of ICRP structure and membership by Dr. Rosalie Bertell

Summary: Govn'ts collaborate thru orgs like ICRP to standardize their "stories"


(5) From the Mailbag: Nell Kooyman' statement and collection of links

Here is an email from Nell Kooyman ( about Cassini that arrived recently. Everything that is happening leads me to believe that we CAN stop Cassini -- on about 1000 scientific grounds (plus it would save money). It's the political issues that we didn't seem to stand a chance on, but with all this "defunding" NASA is looking at, maybe they will wise up and chuck the nuke-puke probes.


The following is an overview of what this e-mail is all about.

Excerpts from a press release:

"The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration launched the CASSINI space ship on October 15, 1997, on a seven-year mission to study the planet Saturn, purportedly in the hope of "understanding the birth and evolution of our solar system." But by using 72.3 lbs of radioactive Plutonium to run CASSINI's 740-watt instrument panel, NASA created the possibility of unspeakable disaster for the people [and other life] on our own planet.

NASA plans to accelerate CASSINI by using Earth's gravitational field on August 18, 1999, when it plans to have the space ship approach Earth in a so-called "fly-by" at a velocity of 10 miles per second. NASA claims that the odds against a calamitous mishap, namely the space ship entering our atmosphere, are one in a million.

But there is important evidence showing that NASA has seriously underestimated the possibility of human or equipment error--and the potential danger of any accident during the fly-by maneuver"..............

....Please continue reading this press release called: "NASA Misleads the World on the Dangers of the Cassini Space Ship's Fly-By of Earth" at: {click on Table of Contents - to Press Release}

"A statement, dated September 26, 1997, to President Clinton signed by 15 Congresspersons calling for postponement of CASSINI" -- This statement was ignored. See this statement at:

"A Scientific Critique of the Accident Risks from the CASSINI Space Mission" by: Dr. Michio Kaku, Professor of Theoretical Physics, City University of New York. See this critique at:

I have attached a couple of sites to other CASSINI information: {Good Informative Newsletters} {Action Site} {Global Network} {Excellent Informative Site}

Now that you have read all this valid information, don't you agree that this INSANITY MUST STOP? PLEASE HELP!!!!! > You can either forward this e-mail and/or send your own e-mail to President William Jefferson Clinton at the following address:
by electronic mail to the President at:

"LETS NOT ""HOPE"" that nothing will occur, but lets STOP IT NOW!"

Please FORWARD this e-mail to others and lets get this MADNESS STOPPED!



We appreciate Nell Kooyman's support!

(6) List of upcoming plutonium launches (civilian ONLY!)

The following clip from NASA's web site was taken July 27th, 1999, 4:20 pm PST. Note that it does not list ANY of the MANY nuclear-powered Earth-orbiting satellites NASA plans to help the U. S. Military launch for spy purposes, which will circle Earth until they fall back, some time after those who launched them have retired. By then, any containment system there MIGHT have been, may have turned brittle and ineffective. NASA ADMITS that they have no idea how well the containment system will function after decades of exposure to radiation, both natural and from the plutonium itself (see page 4-104 of the 1995 Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Cassini Mission).

Here is the list, which Karl Grossman pointed us to recently:

----- FIRST CLIP FROM -----

For example, the recent Cassini mission to Saturn needed three RTGs to power the scientific instruments and the Saturn Orbiter itself. Examples of future missions, which may require the use of radioisotope power systems are:

Pluto/Kuiper Express (Adv. Study): Map the surface and characterize the atmospheres of Pluto and its moon Charon.

Europa Orbiter (Adv. Study): Study Europa (a moon a Jupiter) in search of possible liquid water oceans beneath the surface ice.

Solar Probe (Adv. Study): Study the origin of the solar wind.

Interstellar Probe (Conceptual Study): Characterize interstellar dust and gas at 900 million miles from the sun and beyond.

Europa Lander (Conceptual Study): Study the seismology and possibly penetrate the ice crust to reach a liquid water ocean.

Io Volcanic Observer (Conceptual Study): Extensive study of Io's (a moon of Jupiter) surface and volcanic activity.

Titan Organic Explorer (Conceptual Study): Use landers or aerobots to investigate the surface and chemistry of Titan's (a moon of Saturn) atmosphere.

Neptune Orbiter (Conceptual Study): Extensive study of Neptune's system.

The RTG design used on the Cassini mission generates electrical power by converting the heat from the natural decay of plutonium through the use of solid-state thermoelectric converters. It is about 113 cm (about 44 in) long and about 43 cm (about 17 in) in diameter, and contains about 10.8 kg (about 24 lb) of plutonium dioxide. RTGs have been designed to contain their plutonium dioxide in the event of launch or reentry from Earth orbit accident. NASA is working with the Department of Energy to identify power requirements of future spacecraft, and to design smaller and more efficient power systems. These power systems may only need to carry about 2-3 kg (about 4-7 lb) of nuclear material for power generation.


Note that 4 pounds of plutonium 238 contains, oh, about 20 billion "potentially lethal doses" of plutonium. THAT is NASA's idea of a new safe limit! SNAP-9A, in 1964, had about 2.1 pounds of plutonium and reentered Earth's atmosphere and was vaporized. Now they have a flimsy and ineffective containment system. 4-7 lb at a time is way, way too much to allow!

And add to that, NASA's track record for dishonesty, intermittent success, improper use of statistics, and failure to disclosure all the facts. We still haven't seen NASA properly describe a true "worst case scenario" for Cassini, for instance. Instead, even today, they refer to their flimsy containment system as "specially designed rugged containers" on the web page. Cassini has three RTGs, for a total of 72.3 pounds of plutonium.

Also note that there are additional missions which each will carry significant quantities of plutonium in the form of Radioactive Heater Units (RHUs) which currently contain about 2.7 grams of Plutonium (mostly Pu 238). That amount is horrific, and the use of RHUs should be carefully justified if not entirely banned. (A 100 year moratorium on such use is my minimum recommendation.) Cassini has about 130 RHUs on board, which are each absolutely going to incinerate in a flyby reentry accident.

----- SECOND CLIP FROM -----

Over the next 5 years NASA has in the planning stages (i.e., the mission is being funded and is under development) about 20 space science missions. None of those missions require the use of radioisotope power sources and 2 may require small Radioisotope Heater Units (RHUs) like the ones used for the Mars Pathfinder rover. Additionally, about 30 other potential missions are under study and may be selected for development. "Advanced Study" means NASA generally accepts the concept, however, detailed spacecraft and mission design (and sometimes specific funding approval) are needed before development can begin. Currently there are 3 missions under advanced study that may require radioisotope power systems and RHUs, and 2 missions that may need RHUs for heating purposes. "Conceptual Study" means the mission is an idea that might be proposed by or to NASA but has not been selected for advanced study. Currently there are 5 conceptual missions that may require radioisotope power systems and RHUs, and 1 that may require RHUs for heating purposes. Any mission implementation is dependent on a decision to proceed after the required environmental review process is completed.


Note that while a "mission implementation" might wait for NASA's lame idea of a proper environmental review process, in fact, billions might already have been spent by then, since the "mission implementation" date is, presumably, the launch date.

(7) What you can do today to stop the Cassini flyby of Earth:

To learn about the absurd excuses NASA used to launch Cassini in 1997, ask them for the 1995 Environmental Impact Statement for the Cassini Mission, and all subsequent documentation. At the same time, be sure to ask them for ANY and ALL documentation available on future uses of plutonium in space, including MILITARY, CIVILIAN, or "OTHER" (just in case they make a new category somehow!). To get this information, contact:

Cassini Public Information
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
(818) 354-5011 or
(818) 354-6478

NASA states that they do not have the resources anymore to answer most emails they receive. Liars! They have $13.7 billion dollars to play with this year alone! They can answer the public's questions!

Here's NASA's "comments" email address:

Daniel Goldin is the head of NASA. He should resign. Here's his email address: or

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


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.

(8) Subscription information

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Published by Russell D. Hoffman electronically.
Written in U.S.A.
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First placed online July 27th, 1999.
Last modified August 1st, 1999.
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Copyright (c) Russell D. Hoffman