Subject: Letters to NASA -- STOP CASSINI #130
Date: May 26th, 1999
Time Frame: There are 29 days left to demand that NASA smash Cassini into Venus.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Re: Cassini Earth fly-by and your response to Elizabeth Picard (May 17,1999)
I have always followed space missions with greatest interest, enthusiasm and support, until three months before Cassini's launch, when I read about the nuclear payload and the high risk Earth fly-by in August 1999. When I searched for more details in NASA's as well as in other concerned group's web site, I became concerned.
I started to directly contact independent eminent authorities and asked their opinion about Cassini's Earth fly-by and its nuclear payload.
Not enough, I contacted Professor Karl Grossman and asked for a copy of "NUKES IN SPACE I" and "NUKES IN SPACE II", and I asked for a copy of his documentary book "THE WRONG STUFF, The Space Program's Nuclear Threat To Our Planet", which I immediately received and studied with greatest interest but with grave concern
Not enough, I also contacted Dr. John Gofman, Dr. Rosalie Bertell, Dr. Helen Caldicott, Dr. Kaku, Dr. Earl Budin, and others and asked for information with regards of Cassini's high risk Earth fly-by. I wanted to know about the basic facts about Plutonium. I, and so do others, thought of Plutonium just being radioactive and which is used to produce electricity in nuclear power plants, and nothing else. I gathered facts I never knew about before, and I am very much concerned of this human made "stuff" on Earth, and how much already has been released (see Enclosure #1). Not enough, I contacted the head of NASA, Mr. Daniel Goldin and Douglas Isbell expressing my concern and asking a few important questions. No answer so far. No answer is an answer: avoiding the unpleasant issue, so not to admit that my concern is justified!
Not enough, I contacted our Canadian Government and asked about Cassini's safety. Response: "the Cassini [ ] swing-by of the earth pose no undue threat to public health and safety", and the Government agency bases their position only on NASA's own Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) I have asked the Canadian Government many a time whether they are aware about the U.S. Independent Nuclear Safety Review Panel's Safety Evaluation Report (SER), which states that the Plutonium containers are not built to withstand Earth re-entry (not heat resistant). I also arranged Grossman's video and book being sent to the Canadian Government agency responsible with the Cassini issue, and I again referred to the SER. So far, since March 21,1999 I have been asking this agency about the SER, and my specific questions with regards of the SER (which states contradictions to NASA's own EIS) have been ignored and not answered as of today. At least twice a week I send friendly reminders to please respond to my letters! Again, I must assume that the Canadian Government's agency is not answering because it's not a pleasant issue for them. And yet, as NASA has stated in their own EIS, Cassini's plutonium could expose 5 billion people to radiation, should the space probe re-enter Earth's atmosphere. 5 billion people, Earth's wildlife and plants are ignored by NASA, both of them are the fundamentals for the living of humans! And this only to find some more clues of the origin of the solar system on Saturn? It was announced around 1994 that a solar technique would be available for a Cassini mission. Plutonium was not necessary for other space missions, and again with the Cassini mission, NASA ignored the safe alternative solar technique and non-nuclear fuel cells and opted again for Plutonium! The concerned group worldwide are not against a Cassini mission, they are only against the use of Plutonium!
Even if chances are 1 in 10 that a nuclear fuel free Cassini, in an accidental Earth re-entry, would fall on my family house, I would support that high risk mission! On that day, I would make sure that I am way off the re-entry path and have my portable TV along to see my house crashed, I would not mind that for the sake of deep space exploration. (BTW: the insurance would fully cover the compensation in that case).
Not enough, I have searched and browsed the Internet for conventions, treaties, acts, bills, principles, provisions, declarations, just to name a few (see Enclosure # 2), and also studied other related references and have come to the conclusion, as have other eminent authorities, that the Cassini mission is violating too many of them. By the way, why was the US Price Anderson Act established? If Cassini is so safe, why not covering for all the compensations worldwide? An explanation is needed!
Elizabeth Picard sent you an e-mail on May 17, to which you responded the same day,
- that you do advocate for all life. Please state how do you Do you have a family? Do you know all the facts about Plutonium (see Enclosure # 1)? And if the chance of Cassini's Earth re-entry is one in a billion, don't you think that there is still one too much? And this where it is known that a non-nuclear fuel Cassini mission IS possible.
- that, according to your response, that Elizabeth Picard is "mislead by a large amount of misinformation that is being spread". Which misinformation? Please state the misinformation you obviously are aware of, I like to know. It is NASA's duty to inform the public and not to hide. The public has the right to know. Please state the misinformation, if I am misinformed, and NASA/you prove me wrong, I'll change my mind and position any time! And please state who is spreading the misinformation, I like to contact all of them and check out their information or misinformation.
Your response to Elizabeth Picard is an understating and generalizing response, that might impress (calm down) Elizabeth Picard, but its my experience, that this is an "empty" response. You have given no other referral than NASA's one-sided and biased Cassini web site, which is full of flaws and hides other important facts the general public (whether ignorant and innocent) can/is not aware of. Why is this? Why has the Cassini mission not received major coverage in the media, owned i.e. by General Electric and Westinghouse who are directly $$$-involved with the Cassini mission? Why has not the public -worldwide- been asked, whether it's o.k. that Cassini's failure rate is one in a million with the consequence that 5 billion people could been exposed to Cassini's Plutonium radiation? In your and/or NASA's opinion, you think the use of Depleted Uranium (DU) in the Balkan War is justified? Would you want to live in Kosovo where DU has been spread? Would you want to live in an area where thousands of Cassini's vaporized Plutonium particles are awaiting you, your children, your animals and plants to be absorbed for the next 800 years and more? Here I refer again to " Facts about Cassini's Plutonium".
As I stated before, I have been in contact with independent eminent authorities, scientists, medical doctors and from the journalistic body. Please refer me recognized authorities from NASA's side I can contact and convince myself not to be concerned about the Cassini mission any more due to misinformation that are been spread.. Here I must note, that up to now I am not aware of any specific NASA doctors and scientists who signed responsible for any statements in EIS.
At this point I like to close my letter to you with Dr. Gofman's statement in Grossman's book "The wrong Stuff": " ?if we do not have a meaningful dialogue, we may go the way of the dinosaurs-by methods not even remotely suspected".
I very much would appreciate a dialogue and I kindly ask for an immediate response from NASA/you as soon as possible. Please correct me where I am wrong, where I have been misinformed, so hopefully I, as a responsible father of a lovely and sound family with two innocent daughters, can support the Cassini mission. (You may want to intersperse your comments in my e-mail).
I kindly ask you what is your position/duty within JPL.
Hans Karow, Dipl. Ing., Bauassessor
S 32 C 6, RR # 1
OLIVER BC VOH 1TO
ENCLOSURE # 1:
Facts about Cassini's Plutonium
The Cassini deep space mission to Saturn must be redirected to avoid its planned high risk Earth fly-by this year on August 18. Although a safe alternative solar technique was available instead of the use of Plutonium, NASA ignored worldwide warnings.
Here are some facts about Plutonium (Pu) that everybody should know about: Pu was plentiful on Earth when it was first formed. Life did not appear on Earth until the Pu had decayed to Uranium.
Pu, almost entirely a man-made element, is a radioactive and highly toxic substance. Pu was first isolated [in quantities greater than micrograms -- rdh] by Dr. John W. Gofman in 1942, who headed the Manhattan Project's Plutonium Group, when the first milligrams were needed for the Manhattan Project.
Once it enters the body through inhalation, ingestion, or through a cut, it becomes an internal emitter that emits highly destructive radiation to the body tissue in which it concentrates. It is akin to an internal X-ray machine.
When lodged within tiny airways of the lung, Pu particles bombard surrounding tissue with alpha radiation. Smaller particles may break away from larger aggregates of the compound to be absorbed through the lung and enter the bloodstream. Because Pu has properties similar to iron, it is combined with the iron-transporting proteins in the blood and conveyed to iron-storage cells in the liver and bone marrow, inducing liver and bone cancer, and leukemia. Pu's iron-like properties also permit the element to cross the highly selective placental barrier and reach the developing fetus, possibly causing the development of abnormal structures in an embryo resulting in a severe deformed fetus and subsequent gross deformities in the newborn infant.
Pu can also migrate to the testicles and ovaries where it can cause genetic mutation to be passed on to future generations.
No quantity inhaled has been found too small to induce lung cancer in animals. It also has also been found, by any reasonable standard of scientific proof, that there is no safe dose or safe dose-rate of ionizing radiation, meaning there is no safe threshold.
It has been estimated that only one pound of Pu-238, if uniformly deposited in the lungs of the world's population, would be enough to induce lung cancer in everyone on Earth.
In the event of Cassini's accidental atmosphere re-entry during its planned Earth fly-by, or any other time due to a loss of control and subsequent random collision, its 72.3 pounds of Pu would get vaporized into invisible particles and spread as a dust all over the world. Even though over four tons of Pu-239 were released during atmospheric nuclear bomb testing, Cassini's 72.3 pounds of Pu-238 would carry more radioactivity than all the Pu-239 from the bomb tests.
The cancer rate will increase (humans and animals), induced over years by Cassini's accidentally released Pu.
If Pu is released into the environment, there is no way to stop its radioactive decay. As it decays, it produces the highly dangerous alpha radiation mentioned above.
Pu cannot be destroyed by any means. Pu does not disappear in the environment. It is not water-soluble. As a dust it easily becomes airborne.Once dispersed into the environment it can mix with organic substances forming compounds that can enable it so be taken up in bodies of all live species: plants, animals, and humans.
A Pu particle constantly produces radiation - and can harm any living, whether human, animal or plant, that it enters, also meaning as many times as it changes its living host. If someone were to die of lung cancer induced by Pu and were cremated, contaminated smoke might carry Pu particle into someone else's lungs. If an animal dies or is killed, its meat may be eaten by other animals or humans. Or it rots and its poisoned dust could be scattered by the wind and inhaled by other creatures.
Pu-238 will be radioactive over more than 800 years (14% of Cassini's Plutonium consists of Pu-239, being radioactive for over 240,000 years, although somewhat less toxic than Pu-238).
Once Pu is deposited in the lung, there is no way to remove it from the lung and there is nothing that medical science can do to reduce the risk of lung cancer.
In case all vaporized Pu particles are of the size of the invisible 1,000,000 atoms-particle, there will be about 1.63 x 10^5 particles per square meter (163,000 particles!) Earth surface (including water surface) awaiting all living on Earth to be absorbed over and over again for many generations!
All the above facts have been retrieved from Professor Karl Grossman's book " The Wrong Stuff", "The Stop Cassini" web site http://www.animatedsoftware.com/cassini and the "Cassini NoFlyBy Action Site" http://www.nonviolence.org/noflyby and have been verified by eminent medical doctors and physicists.
In case of an inadvertent re-entry, Cassini is an environmental and human right assault that makes everything that has come before trivial by comparison: WW I, WW II, Gulf War, Kosovo, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Hussein, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Chernobyl...you name any human-made disaster!
Cassini's high risk Earth fly-by must and can still be best prevented this coming June 24.
ENCLOSURE # 2:
Some of the known violations, including the possible genocide of millions of people in the world, are:
- at least eight of the United Nations (UN) Outer Space Treaty provisions (1967, signed by 91 countries),
- the UN's Principles Relevant to the Use of Nuclear Power Sources in Outer Space (1992),
- the UN's Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects (1972, ratified by 73 States),
- the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights (protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms,1948), the Nuremberg Code (established during the Nuremberg trial (1946 -1949),
- the United Nations 1948 Genocide Convention,
- the United Nations obligations incurred through conventions and commitments made through UN conference action statements related to the protection of the environment,
- the provisions arising from investigations of the International Atomic Energy Agency, especially referring to Article III, A.6 "Concerns to ensure safe use of nuclear energy which includes activities making use of the by-products of nuclear energy",
- the recommendations emanating from the UN's scientific and technological bodies: International Commission on Radiological Protection and the United Nations' Committee on Effects of Atomic Radiation, some of the principles contained in the Constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO), which recently voted "YES" to the following question "In views of the health and environmental effects, would the use of nuclear weapons by a state in war or other armed conflict be a breach of its obligations under international law, including the WHO constitution?
Hans Karow has made many important points, and I hope that Ms Dawson will recognize the need for her to properly research all this information HERSELF, lest she misrepresent the truth when she responds.
I haven't checked Mr. Karow's thumbnail calculations, but of course, no conceivable accident would produce an even dispersal -- some areas will receive more Pu, and some less. And, I question the statement that Cassini's worst would make the rest of this century's man-made holocausts "trivial by comparison". It can be bad alright, but nothing can make those other crimes trivial. Lastly, in the event of a reentry accident, probably not all the Pu would be vaporized. -- rdh
To: Roger D. Launius
NASA Chief Historian
From: Russell D. Hoffman
Re: CD-ROM submission request
May 26th, 1999
I am the founder and editor of the STOP CASSINI newsletter, now in its 129th issue and 3rd year of publication. It is free, and dozens of scientists have written articles and statements specifically for the newsletter or have offered their speeches/statements/etc. for use there. It is available at the URL given below. I have sent (via email) every issue to various official email addresses at NASA, without any response.
I would like to send you a couple of CD-ROMS, three to be exact, each containing the same information, namely, the entire web site where the STOP CASSINI newsletters and other related documents are kept, as well as the rest of the web site for the undersigned. Would NASA be able to accept this gift and properly store it and make it accessible to future scholars, should they wish to investigate the Cassini political and scientific debate? Does NASA now store the emails that are sent to them, permanently available for review by interested parties (presumably on CD-ROM)? How well backed up are these records, and how accessible are they? I have heard that some of the data tapes from earlier "deep space" (a misnomer, but anyway--) missions have decayed and are unreadable (much like what is happening in the film industry with old films, and in the computer industry with old computers and computer programs). This gives me a bad feeling about how concerned NASA might be about properly storing "mere" emails from concerned citizens. Even a flood of them might be lost; certainly even a flood of them might be ignored.
What is the proper address to send such a thing to, or may I simply send it to your attention, at NASA HQ?
Lastly, if a CD-ROM cannot be properly stored for some reason (!), would paper copies be stored somewhere which is both permanent and accessible? Note that I had, prior to launch, sent Mr. Goldin a complete copy of the newsletters to date and the rest of the web site (on paper) but I do not know what happened to it. I never received a response.
The purpose of our efforts is to turn NASA into something that America can be proud of. When we eventually succeed (and we will, because truth always wins in the end, and we strive to be above all other things, truthful) it will no longer seem appropriate to anyone that NASA pretended to ignore our views for year after year after year, until public knowledge of the truth behind the nuclear nightmare made such mortal tomfoolery impossible. We are trying to make a cleaner, healthier NASA, which fulfills its promise to the public with relish and determination.
You are the Chief Historian for NASA. Thus it is your duty to properly document what NASA meant to society, and what society REALLY thought of NASA. Your job is to store the truth without bias.
I come to you as an outspoken SUPPORTER of NASA's dreams, and implore you to preserve NASA's full role in society: as bully, as military cover, as polluter, and as shameless exploiter of the area of space that surrounds Earth -- the careless creator of tens of millions of "bullets" of local (Earth-orbiting) space debris, some big, some small, all mighty, mighty fast.
Some day, I think America will ask, "Why?" Why did NASA do all these things? I want to ensure, and think YOU should also want to ensure -- that the world will not say "because no one asked them to stop"! I'm asking NASA to stop, and I want it documented that I have done so, repeatedly, in every way I know how, as a concerned citizen of the United States, as a human being, as an Earthling, as a living entity in the universe, as one of many voices. I have attacked NASA with words and words alone, I have attacked with the truth and the truth alone shall sink her.
I strongly urge you to properly document what society knows. Our eyes are wide open; we know what NASA is doing. The record should show that.
Russell David Hoffman
Owner and Chief Programmer
The Animated Software Company
(for affiliation purposes only)
Last issue (#129) we reported that NASA's DS1 was experiencing control problems. Larry Klaes contacted us to explain that "JPL was conducting tests with the Remote Agent computer onboard the probe, to see if it could handle problems on its own without intervention from Earth."
To stop NASA's dangerous upcoming August 18th, 1999 flyby of Earth by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, with its deadly cargo of 72.3 pounds of plutonium 238 dioxide, arrogantly launched in 1997 amidst strong protests, please start by asking NASA for the 1995 Environmental Impact Statement for the Cassini Mission and all subsequent related documents. 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
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 "comments" 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:
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.
After you have acquainted yourself with what NASA is doing, please:
READ OUR RESOLUTION AGAINST CASSINI!
SIGN OUR PETITION!
CANCEL CASSINI by JUNE 24th, 1999!
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