STOP CASSINI Newsletter #139 -- June 17th, 1999

Copyright (c) 1999

STOP CASSINI Newsletters Index

To: Subscribers, Press, Government Officials

Subject: Life on Venus? STOP CASSINI #139

Date: June 17th, 1999 (evening edition)

Time Frame: There are 7 days left to demand that NASA smash Cassini into Venus, the best thing we can do with it.

Today's Subjects:



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 large (milligram) quantities in 1942 by Dr. John W. Gofman, who headed the Manhattan Project's Plutonium Group (Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs).

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 severely 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 [be able to] induce lung cancer in animals. It 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 to be taken up in bodies of all live species: plants, animals, and humans.

A Pu particle constantly produces radiation - and can harm any living thing, 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 that 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 [~10X the half-life -- rdh] (14% of Cassini's Plutonium consists of Pu-239, being radioactive for over 240,000 years [~10X the half-life -- rdh], 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!) of Earth's 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 and the "Cassini NoFlyBy Action Site" and upon contacting eminent medical doctors and physicists.

In case of an inadvertent re-entry, Cassini is an environmental and human right assault that makes any human-made disaster, that has come before, trivial: Cassini's Plutonium has the potential to harm and eventually kill the whole world's population not only once!

Cassini's high risk Earth fly-by must and can still be prevented until a few days before it's planned fly-by on August 18, 1999.

Express your concern to the local Member of Congress/Parliament about the facts of Cassini's high risk Earth fly-by now. Sign the petition (down-load from above given web sites).

For more info, references, petitions, resolution, Professor Karl Grossman's recently silver awarded documentary film "NUKES IN SPACE II, Unacceptable Risks" (29 minutes video ), his book "The Wrong Stuff" contact:

the "Cassini NoFlyBy Action Site", the "Stop Cassini" web site or the Cassini Redirection Coalition (CRC) at S 32 C 6, RR# 1, OLIVER, BC, V0H 1T0, CANADA
Tel./Fax + (250) 498 3135

(2) Do Not Scorn The Activist (an essay by Ernie Measures)

This next item is a beautiful statement which I hope will help to bring some peace to the neighborhood.


The Editor
Oliver Chronicle
P.O. Box 880
Oliver, B.C.
Fax 250 498 3966



Activists are not the untidy ragged people that the media are happy to portray. Some of them may look rather untidy but they are often better educated than average. They fight for the decent things in life at the expense of good paying jobs and easy living. Why? They understand mans inhumanity to his fellows, it is called greed and power.

Who lobbied and worked and won many battles to make your lives safer and healthier? The activists.

They fought and won the stopping of B.G.H. Bovine Growth hormone, the ban on P.C.B.'s, on landmines, violence on TV and many other benefits that you, the average person won't turn off your TV (the opiate of the mass) to concern yourself about.

When things bother you you cry "they" should do something about that. Who are they? Not the Government, not the business or industry, not Government bodies like the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade who blithely without checking parrot the propaganda of NASA, and advise the citizens of Canada, millions of whom could die, painfully, if the spacecraft Cassini crashes. Cassini is due to partially round Earth, at a NASA calculated height of only a few hundred miles and carrying 72.3 pounds of radioactive plutonium on Aug. 18, 1999, if it goes off its course by a fraction of a degree it will hit Earth's atmosphere at a speed of 42 300 (!) miles per hour, at that speed Cassini will incinerate in seconds, and the 72.3 pounds of Plutonium it carries, will get at least vaporized and descend from the atmosphere in microscopic dust, enough to contaminate and kill millions of people and other life on this planet. Because of its 87.75 year half-life the lethal Plutonium will be around for hundreds of years and the particle size is so small that they can drift all over the entire land and sea area of the world. Each one particle (each one!) being ingested and regurgitated by hundreds of living things over hundreds of years who may then die a painful death.

You! The ones who cry why don't 'THEY' do something, the 'THEY', the activists are doing something. They have obtained the information you have just read, 'THEY' are some of the original scientists who designed the Atomic bomb and are horrified the false confidence of NASA and have scientifically disproved most of the NASA calculations. 'THEY 'propose that this hazard to the world be diverted to the Sun and to avoid Earth entirely. Cassini MUST BE redirected at the best last possible chance on June 24, 1999 at the time of its Venus fly-by!

We appeal to you all to assist 'THEY' in whatever way you can mainly by public protest and signing the petition.

Your future health and life is in your own hands, you are now 'THEY'.

Ernie Measures (Activist)
Coalition to Reduce Electropollution (CORE)
Cassini Redirect Coalition (CRC)
# 208 - 640 Dallas Road
Victoria, BC V8V 1B6



----- NEWS ITEM FROM RADBULL, JUNE 16TH, 1999 -----

3 Depleted Uranium NATO Press Conference May 14 1999

given by NATO Spokesman
Jamie Shea
and SHAPE Spokesman
Major General Walter Jertz

... Question: Since NATO appears to be using depleted uranium munitions in Serbia are there any plans once the war is over to have any kind of clean-up given the reputation which these munitions have got in Iraq?

Major General Jertz : Let me say first that we have not used depleted uranium in the last few weeks because those uranium munitions are only used against targets which are targets where they can do a special effect on them and that is why only in rare cases they will be used at all.

Question: Are there any plans for cleaning up? There have been some depleted uranium munitions used I believe in Serbia are there any plans for cleaning up afterwards because of the dangers of cancers which appear to be there in Iraq when the Allies used them in 1991?

Major General Jertz : You find depleted uranium in all natural things which are in rocks soil everywhere so don't over-emphasise what you just said. On the plans like all the other plans we do have plans of course to help those people to go back again safely in their homes but I will not elaborate on the plans in detail.....

Margaret: General going back to the depleted uranium some of your predecessors have sworn up and down to my news organisation in any case that this is not something that is being used it is in the arsenal weapons with depleted uranium. You say it hasn't been used in the last few weeks. Are you now confirming that it actually has been used and can you tell us how widely and when?

Major General Jertz : As far as I am informed - but thank you very much for giving me a break that I obviously am not the first speaker…….to confirm did we have it before I did it..yes we did…so I was right when I answered the question that it was used in the past but once again it was used only in rare cases and only against targets where we thought it would have the most effect but once again this ammunition is not obviously what everybody thinks it is. It is not uranium like a radiation weapon and you find it everywhere in the ….. I already mentioned in soil rocks and so on.

Jamie Shea: There have also by the way been extensive studies into this one very thorough one by the Rand Corporation in California which showed that it does not have environmental aspects or health hazards....


June 14 1999 Search of for depleted uranium :

Health Effects




(4) Life on Venus? Yeah, that's a worry!


At 11:27 AM 6/16/99 -0400, Larry Klaes wrote:

Date: Wed, 16 Jun 1999 11:27:00 -0400
To: "Russell D. Hoffman" ,
"Barbara Boxer, Senator (CA, D)"
From: Larry Klaes
Subject: There may be life on Venus after all.

Hello Russell,

Though keeping in mind that the author of this concept is promoting it mainly to take us out of our old Earthly paradigms regarding what is life, David Grinspoon, of the 1997 book Venus Revealed, speculates in Chapter 6 that some strange readings in the higher atmosphere of the second planet from Sol (where conditions are more moderate) could indicate some form of primitive aerial life.

You can read some of this in large excerpts Dr. Grinspoon has placed on the Web at this URL:

By the way, Venus Revealed is a truly enjoyable read. I highly recommend it. A stuffy, dry textbook on that planet it is not.

Though I personally have strong doubts about any kind of life in any form on Venus, I also think we should not do anything radical to that world until it is far better explored, especially smashing a nuclear-powered probe into it.

I know it was not very long ago that we considered life to be able to exist in only a very narrow range of environmental conditions, but now we have found organisms on Earth miles underground in solid rock, by hydrothermal vents in the deep, sunless oceans where the water is boiling, in hot springs, and even thriving in nuclear reactors! So just imagine what could be dwelling on other worlds.

Here is one Web site with links to the subject of extremophiles and other aspects of alien life:

On a related note, Dr. Grinspoon is also the author of an article on Cassini and the nuclear debate in the upcoming August issue of Astronomy magazine:

"Cassini's Nuclear Risk"

As Cassini prepares to fly past Earth this August, the conflict rages between environmentalists who fear disaster and space explorers seeking to study Saturn.

- David Grinspoon

It's a little old (November, 1997), but I found this online article on Cassini in Popular Mechanics:





Vivisection, putting pets to sleep, eating meat, LD50, Makah whale hunts, whales with grotesque tumors in the St. Lawrence Seaway, nearly every manatee has the scars of an encounter or two (or more) with the propeller of a "pleasure" boat, human-caused extinction of dozens of species every day in the Rain Forest, urbanization, pesticides, animal "research", zoos, circuses, aquariums, "wild" animal parks, exotic animal hunting ranges.

We torture non-human, intelligent life on this planet every day, in a 1000 different ways. Yet Larry thinks that we should consider the possibility of a little microbial existence on Venus as a reason NOT to smash Cassini into Venus, and yet it's okay to risk smashing Cassini into Earth instead! But smashing Cassini into Venus intentionally would be SAFE for manatees, whales, dogs, cats, rabbits, rhinoceros, elephants, and those stupid naked apes as well.

Let's keep some balance and perspective here!

Note that the "debate" described in the Astronomy magazine (above) is a red herring. There is NO conflict between "exploration" and "safety".



The entire science return of the Cassini mission could have been achieved through merely TWO SOLAR MISSIONS!! MAYBE EVEN ONE!

How dare Astronomy Magazine attempt to put the debate in such inaccurate terms!

-- rdh


At 08:07 AM 6/17/99 -0400, Larry Klaes wrote:

Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1999 08:07:44 -0400
To: "Russell D. Hoffman" ,
From: Larry Klaes
Subject: Venus life theory response?

Hello Russell,

Do you plan on publishing my letter to you about the possibility of life in Venus' atmosphere? I think all aspects should be taken into consideration when it comes to Cassini.




----- MY RESPONSE -----

Sure, I'll publish it. But do you really think there is a comparison between "life" on Venus IF it exists and the life of even ONE human?

Intelligent life is what matters most.

-- rdh

----- END OF MY RESPONSE -----


At 07:36 PM 6/17/99 -0400, Larry Klaes wrote:

Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1999 19:36:46 -0400
To: "Russell D. Hoffman"
From: Larry Klaes
Subject: Re: Venus life theory response?

What if the Venusians are intelligent and we just don't recognize it as such? Then we go and drop a nuclear powered space probe on them. Not a great way to start interplanetary relations.



----- MY RESPONSE -----

Larry, that's very funny. What if whales are intelligent? What if dolphins are intelligent? What if pigs are intelligent? What if eagles are intelligent? What if monkeys are intelligent?

Come to think of it, they all are.

I have always agreed that it would be NICE to have sent Cassini crashing into the Sun instead of Venus. I never denied that. However, I am far more worried about the 6 billion people here now and the 60 billion that (hopefully) will be here during the next century or so, and the next trillion or whatever that will be here during the next millennium (if all goes well, which so far, it isn't) than I'll ever be about your "intelligent" microbial life on Venus. AND I will be far more worried about the other intelligent lifeforms on Earth before worrying overly much about what's under the target area of Venus.

It's not like I have a choice anymore, Larry. I never would have launched the dastardly probe in the first place and this (silly?) question would never have come up.

Besides, as you pointed out, the Russians have already smashed a couple of probes into Venus already as it is -- WERE THEY NUKE-POWERED???

You would prefer to risk the lives of 10s of millions who are KNOWN to exist in full flowering human form, and hundreds of billions of lifeforms on Earth, rather than dump the probe in a festering stew of inhospitable gases, on the off-chance that there's intelligent life in that soup? If you're that worried about life, the time to have spoken up was before the launch of Cassini!

Cassini is a deadly probe heading our way, destined to contaminate Africa most likely, in the event of a reentry. Africa by choice, mind you, no matter what NASA claims about that being "chance". It isn't chance. It good "business sense".

Cassini should be stopped when it gets to Venus and not allowed to risk smashing into the next planet -- the Earth.

Any number of things can go wrong. The ISS terror over the weekend, which NASA won't report on, should show you (and everyone else) how INCAPABLE rocket scientists are of being perfect.

And that's all we ask: That they stop PRETENDING they are superhuman. They are not. In fact, I wonder if there is any intelligent life left at NASA anymore at all, let alone any superhumans.


Russell D. Hoffman

----- END OF MY RESPONSE -----

We have ONE WEEK to DEMAND that NASA smash Cassini into Venus. -- rdh

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

To stop NASA's dangerous upcoming August 17th (note new date!), 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 contacting NASA/JPL immediately and tell them you oppose Cassini:

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 billion dollars to play with. They can answer the public's questions!

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

Daniel Goldin is the head of NASA. 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.

After you have acquainted yourself with what NASA is doing, please:



CANCEL CASSINI by JUNE 24th, 1999!

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