STOP CASSINI Newsletter #96 -- February 16th, 1999

Copyright (c) 1999

STOP CASSINI Newsletters Index

To: Subscribers, Press, Government Officials

Subject: T H E C A S S I N I G A M B L E -- STOP CASSINI newsletter #96

Date: February 16th, 1999

Time Frame: There are 128 days left until the appropriate moment of redirection of the Cassini probe - the flyby of Venus, 7 weeks before the flyby of Earth.


Here are presented some more news and views about the continuing efforts by the world's citizenry to prevent the Earth flyby by Cassini and it's 72 pounds of plutonium 238 dioxide, at least 3% and possibly as much as 100% of which NASA fully EXPECTS to vaporize into an aerosol of particles from 5 to 58 microns in size, averaging about 10 microns (basically, the most dangerous sizes for such particles) in the event of a reentry accident during the Earth flyby coming up in August, 1999.

Russell D. Hoffman, Founder, Editor and U. S. Citizen

Today's Subjects:



T h e C a s s i n i G a m b l e

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration launched a space ship on October 15, 1997 on a 7-year flight to study the distant planet Saturn in hope of "understanding the birth of evolution of our solar system," (from Final Environmental Impact Statement, FEIS, June 1997, page 1). However, because the ship contains 72 pounds of radioactive Plutonium (P-238), it poses a major public health threat if NASA follows through with its plans to return it from Venus to circle Earth (for a so-called Earth Fly-By) to increase its speed on route to Saturn.

Federal regulations require an independent evaluation whenever radioactive material is introduced into space. A Nuclear Safety Review Panel consisting of a representative of the U.S. EPA, Dept. of Energy, Dept. of Defense, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and NASA issued a Safety Evaluation Report (SER) July 1997, which noted major discrepancies in the various Environmental Impact Statements by NASA:

1. NASA claimed the Plutonium containers "were designed to withstand re-entry" into our atmosphere (FEIS p. E94 et al.). Yet the SER noted that they were not designed to withstand the heat of an accidental re-entry at the planned flyby-by speed of 10 miles per second (p. 3-24).

2. NASA claimed that almost none of the Plutonium could become airborne in any accident (FEIS p. E44). In contrast the SER notes that 9 kilograms could become airborne in respirable form, the only hazardous state (p. 3-19).

3. NASA estimated that in the event of an accident the Plutonium could cause 120 fatal cancers (Final Supplemental EIS, p.4-9). Yet, the SER states "tens of thousands" cancer deaths could result from a major accident (p. ES-4).

4. NASA discusses the cancer-causing potential of Plutonium on the basis of the cancer dose from general ionizing radiation. Yet the SER notes "the probability of a single inhaled particle inducing a cancer" (P. 3-12). This was reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (April 1997) from experiments performed at Columbia University, financed in part by NASA, yet completely ignored in all their EIS's. The SER however omits mentioning that each kilogram of Plutonium contains trillions of radioactive atoms, and the number of fatal cancers might be many times greater than the tens of thousands estimated by the SER.

5. NASA claims the chance of an accidental re-entry of the space-ship into our atmosphere is less than one in a million. Yet a Jet Propulsion Lab report (May 1997) lists 18 different types of malfunctions that may occur, including electrical short-circuits, meteors and space debris striking the space probe, and erroneous ground commands. At the planned Fly-By speed of 10 miles per second, a loss of control lasting only 42 seconds could result in the Cassini's re-entry into our atmosphere where the ship will burn up.

In view of the multiple major conflicts between NASA's claims and the SER findings, and NASA's gross error in the carcinogenicity of Plutonium, NASA should not be permitted to risk thousands of civilian lives by the Flyb-By without an evaluation by an independent scientific group such as the National Academy of Sciences. A recent report by the Government Accounting Office merely repeated NASA's claims, but completely ignored the findings of the SER.

Earl Budin, M.D.
UCLA Medical Center
F.H. Knelman, Ph.D.
Former Prof. Env. Studies
Univ.California, Santa Cruz
N. Meshkati, Ph.D.
Assoc. Prof.Civil Engin.
Univ.So. California


New Legal Angle to be tried -- find a head-of-state with the proper concern for their people

This was written in response to some petition drives that are formulating and which will be presented soon on these pages, we hope.


I believe one head of state is all we need.

It is a simple case, to my utterly untrained legal eyes, of an unwarranted environmental assault, and then there's the military connection, as well as the DOCUMENTED lies and fraud at ALL levels (lies in the NASA EIS, in particular, I'm talking about, let alone NASA/JPL's misrepresentation (as indicated in the James Randi statement) of the scientific nature of the opposition movement.).

But the main thing is, that the probe can come down "anywhere" (although as I explained in newsletter #93, NASA does actually have quite a bit of control over the probe's actual moment and thus, position of passing. Although an accident will drift everywhere, larger particles will obviously settle mainly on whatever it comes in over).

NASA's decisions are bogus and the true danger (shown in their own reports!) is actually rather obvious. They are looking at an elephant, and calling it a mouse. They present broad statistical averages instead of specifically describing a "worst case scenario", but then they call what they present a "worst case scenario". It's just ridiculous, and I'm sure no self-respecting scientist would do what they do.

--Russell D. Hoffman
Founder & Editor, STOP CASSINI newsletter


Yet another explanation for the media silence

In this newsletter and at the web site we have often wondered why the media pays so little attention to what NASA and the U. S. Military is doing with radioactive materials in space as well as on Earth. Recently we realized that a large part of the reason is simply that they have been lied to by NASA about who "the movement" really is and have been going to a bunch of government toadies to get "the people's perspective" on the issues! But really, there is a vast movement FOR sanity, and against NASA's madness, or as one writer (a mom with two teenage sons) noted in a letter to this editor,

"There's not one mother on earth who would vote for Cassini before feeding her family ... all mothers of all beings bring in life and naturally nuture what is good and precious about LIFE."

Yet still, for the most part, the media continues to turn a blind eye. Well, perhaps it just takes a while. The foreign press especially, may awaken one day soon and realize their duty to report on global environmental threats like this, because it is ONLY through worldwide attention that anything will change. Even France, it is well known among those paying attention, is not so pro-nuclear in its spirit as its National leaders would have you believe (or the 80% reliance on nukes for electricity might indicate to some). But the American media is slow -- it may take them a lot longer to move, but when they do, things will surely start to happen.

Right now, this newsletter's media email distribution list is maybe 200 names, if that. We would appreciate anyone sending us good, recent, verified media email lists if possible! (We cannot possibly send these by other methods, like fax or mail, except to a few selected media persons whom we know appreciate it. We do encourage ALL our readers to contact their local (and national) media about the issues presented in these newsletters, or other issues they are concerned about.)

Let the media know the citizenry is sick of being babied and want real, hard news, and lots of it! Those of us who are aware of what is going in this world, and who have not already been struck down like so many brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, want the whole world to awaken to the truth of what is happening -- we are polluting this planet for war, and because of war, and in preparation of war, and even in the prevention of war, and it is time to find a new way.




To: public radio KCBX, San Luis Obispo, CA
From: Russell D. Hoffman, Founder and Editor, STOP CASSINI newsletter now in its 95th issue
Re: (This email is in response to your email to us, shown below.)
Date: February 16th, 1999

An Open Letter to KCBX:

At your request you have been "unsubscribed" from the STOP CASSINI newsletter media distribution list. We realize you must get a lot of email, but are saddened that you do not think the things we write about in our newsletter might be of interest to your listeners. In fact, we personally completely disagree, if only because Vandenberg AFB is I presume, well within your listener area, and there must be people there who wish to know the truth about the damage to the health of the citizens our own government's military policies do, and who cannot possibly get that information any other way (without risking being observed by their commanding officers) than through a public radio channel. The Internet, at a Government facility, is NOT a private channel, and there is good reason to think that our Government does not want it's employees to know about what we have to say in our newsletters and at our site. Furthermore, if you look at the statistics shown in newsletter #95, it would appear the indeed, there is a disproportionately LOW visitation rate from Government addresses, especially considering all the free, award-winning educational software and Internet documents we offer at

If you have any comments as to why you have requested to be dropped off our list at this time, or what you would expect to see in an environmental newsletter that would not make you take this drastic step, we would be interested to hear from you about your concerns (responding would not restart the subscription).

In any event, we occasionally receive new media lists, and we will retain your request for at least 3 years, and will attempt to keep KCBX in the dark during that time by not sending you any more informational newsletters.

Are you also requesting that they not be sent by mail instead? In other words, I am curious as to what the problem is, since we feel that we are distributing newsworthy items to a licensed media service (there are a limited number of licenses available, and you've got one, and have a duty to use it responsibly to inform the citizenry). Our understanding is that informing the holders of such licenses about our opinions on matters of presumed relevance to their listeners is -- and should be -- a perfectly legal option for us, to try to get the word out about our cause ("our" is me and anyone who agrees with me; I do not represent an organization, just an opinion, though I do claim to have several hundred requested subscribers (the list is kept confidential) and I do have one of the most linked-to and most visited web sites in the world on the Cassini issue.)

I realize that if every citizen sent you a hundred newsletters in two years (I've actually, to the best of my knowledge, only sent you two or three, since I don't send most issues widely, only to subscribers and public officials and REQUESTED news media), that would be impossible for any media representative to handle. That is of course, why I am dropping you from the subscription list -- because you have a right to think about what you want and not think about what you don't want to think about (although frankly, that "right" is effectively counterbalanced by my right as a citizen to try to inform the public --through attempting to bend the ear of the media -- about what I (and others, including many scientists) see as a grave threat, with JUNE 24th, 1999 being the last moment for decisive action).

One question remains, which is, what would happen if I sent these to you by mail instead? Would you then email me and ask that I no longer send my newsletter, or would you simply throw them away each time, thus wasting my money and your time?

Or would you read them then?

Any response to this request for information about what channels of communication you are closing and which ones you are leaving open will be appreciated and will be printed in an upcoming newsletter (this letter will be in issue #96, which will be available at our web site shortly).

Thank you in advance.


Russell Hoffman
Founder & Editor
STOP CASSINI newsletter


Alan Colmes ("Radio Graffiti") also specifically requested to be dropped off our media distribution list.

From the Mailbag: A delightful compliment, and some important points


Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 10:52:44 EST
Subject: Cassini,etc.

Hi Russ

I am amazed at your efforts to keep the pot boiling in regard to the Cassini issue. You must have found a fifty hour day somewhere. I, for one, appreciate the effort.

In your last newsletter you mention that NASA backs off answering e-mails. Well, that's a typical government agency attitude that prevails in our system. I fight back in that area by e-mailing, followed by letter and phone calls to my Senators and congressional reps when I am deeply interested in a particular issue. It requires patience but sometimes it works.

I am currently on Senator Graham of Florida for information on the probability that poisonous, odorless, but highly toxic nitrogen dioxide gas was dispersed when the Titan IV exploded 20 seconds after launch and 293,250 pounds of liquid nitrogen tetroxide fuel was vaporized. I also asked if any plutonium was on board.

As yet, I did not get a definite answer to either question but I was forwarded a reply to the Senator from a Colonel Stephen D. Bull, III (an apropos name) in the Department of the Air Force who assured us that "that there was no effect on the people of Florida from Toxic propellants released during this mishap because the wind blew and dispersed the toxic propellant and their products out sea." So-o-o kiddies, ain't that a happy ending to the fairy tale? About six months have gone by, but I am still working on this one.

While I didn't mean to digress, I would suggest the tactic of urging your subscribers to phone, write and e-mail their particular senators and representatives and request them to get the information they want from NASA. After all, that's what these robots in Washington are being paid for, to accommodate their constituents.



*** *** Where to go for more information NASA won't tell you: ***

Here is the web site to start a Freedom-of-Information request regarding anything you think NASA has lied to you about or hidden the truth about.


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:

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; BE SPECIFIC! Ask why they misused the D. E. Rockey report in the 1995 EIS. Ask them why they reduced the EXPECTED plutonium release percentage from 33% or more to just 3% with no change in technology from the 1995 EIS to the 1997 Supplemental EIS, while claiming they have 25+ years's experience with these things! Ask them why they thought there was a Nostradamus connection among the anti-Cassini crowd, which is actually almost entirely scientists, and their supporters like myself. (See newsletters #92 and #93). Ask them when they last launched plutonium from the Cape -- attempted or completed, civilian or military. Ask them how they know Cassini's software is Y2K compliant. And when the next plutonium launch will be. Ask them everything; you have a right to know. Ask them why they won't spend enough money to answer people's emails, if they are a civilian agency whose #1 purpose, according to their own charter, is "the expansion of human knowledge". Ask them why Dan Goldin is still their boss. Ask them why he won't invite me or better yet, the scientists who have appeared in my newsletter for a presentation of our concerns to their staff, followed by whatever questions they can muster, all presented live on the Internet (they have the technology, they used it for Sojourner videos, remember?).

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 -- nearly 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.

Welcome new subscribers!

Next issue (#97)
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First placed online February 19th, 1999.
Last modified February 19th, 1999.
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