STOP CASSINI Newsletter #144 -- June 25th, 1999 (late edition)

Copyright (c) 1999

STOP CASSINI Newsletters Index

To: Subscribers, Press, Government Officials

From: Russell D. Hoffman, Founder and Editor, STOP CASSINI newsletter

Subject: A small correction is all it takes: Smash Cassini into the moon! STOP CASSINI #144

Date: June 25th, 1999

Time Frame: Unless NASA is told not to perform the maneuver, Cassini will be maneuvered closer to Earth starting some time in August. Instead it should be immediately re-aimed towards the moon.

Today's Subjects:


In the last issue (#143) we suggested that completing the Earth flyby and sending Cassini out to Jupiter would be the best thing we could do with it, having failed to convince "the powers that be" to smash Cassini into Venus. Silly us.

Instead of smashing Cassini into Venus, which some have argued may actually hold life despite the harshness of its environment, and which has an atmosphere to spread the plutonium dust around, we should simply smash Cassini into the moon! True, it would create a "dead zone" of perhaps several hundred miles in area, but that would be the extent of it. NASA has mapped the moon rather extensively and they could choose the dead zone carefully.

If we did this, we could actually study the effectiveness of NASA's containment system after the accident (it would fail miserably, because much of its design relies on atmospheric slowing of the RTGs (Radioactive Thermoelectric Generators and GPHSs (General Purpose Heat Sources)). If some time in the next millennium we decided we needed the "real estate", we could even clean up the area where the impact occurs, since it won't migrate throughout the ecosystem via the movement of water, air or animals.

Since most (about 85%) of the plutonium on board Cassini is Pu 238, which has a half-life of just 87.75 years, that portion of the payload will become unimportant in about a millennium (10 millenniums for sure). The Pu 239 on board will remain an environmental problem for a quarter of a millions years, but it is better to have that problem on the moon than risking its reentry to Earth!

-- rdh

(2) Time of Earth flyby described in recent NASA report

The following clip from a NASA report clearly indicates that our description of the reason for the confusion regarding the date of the flyby, as resolved in newsletter #143, was correct.


Four flybys of planets -- two of Venus and one each of Earth and Jupiter -- give Cassini the speed it needs to reach Saturn. Cassini first flew past Venus on April 26, 1998 at a distance of 284 kilometers (about 176 miles). Today's Venus flyby will be followed by a 1,166-kilometer (724-mile) flyby of Earth on August 18 (August 17 Pacific time at 8:28 p.m. PDT), then it's on to Jupiter for a December 30, 2000 flyby. The giant planet's gravity will bend Cassini's flight path to put it on course for arrival into orbit around Saturn on July 1, 2004.


(3) Can't we just let Cassini do good science?

If the flyby of Earth is successful, that does not mean the mission should be allowed to proceed! Any Cassini science will always be tainted with the poison of arrogant, unscientific and undemocratic decisions, and the filthy stench from the closed-minded carelessness of buck-passing apologists. There is not good science that can come of such evil.

Furthermore, Cassini is one more step in the nuclearization of space. Russian space scientists think RIGHT NOW that nuclear waste can still be safely rocketed away from Earth. If no one stops them, they may just try it, and then there will be an accident sooner or later. American space scientists mention the idea now and then too. Electrical power supplies for the weaponization of space are invariably nuclear, so stopping Cassini on health grounds would apply to those missions as well, even if it will take peeling back another layer or two before the truth is fully available to the American public. -- rdh

(4) Y2K and nukes: Danger lurks ahead

I am convinced that the anti-nuclear position has never had a stronger reason to be allowed by the media to raise the bell of alarm than regarding the combined dangers of Y2K and nuclear power.

If the books don't balance on January 1st, 1999, the world will not end. Some of us will hardly even notice.

However, if there are problems with the nuclear power plants, there could be meltdowns. I am absolutely convinced that we are facing a grave danger, due to the potential for both off-site and on-site power failures (see quote from NRC document, below). Vast areas of the land around a meltdown will become permanently uninhabitable but that will not be the worst of it. The spread of the poison throughout the ecosystem will be the worst of it. Most nuclear power plants are placed close to rivers, lakes and oceans where the majority of the discharge will take place as the plant operators attempt to cool the crippled reactors as they go critical.

But they will be having a hell of a time with it, what with not having any power anywhere else on the grid, the phone systems down, the Internet gone. Sure, we can each survive with a few week's of water and food stored up. But a nuclear power plant which is having a problem cannot survive for even a few minutes. Once things start to go from bad to worse, the pace usually accelerates tremendously. What starts out as an "uh oh" becomes a full-scale panic very quickly. Alarms around the county where the plants are located will NOT be going off, because they or the phone lines that turn them on will be out of order or offline or without power. And of course, the plant operators will wait until the last possible minute to sound the alarm at all, at which point they might be too busy to bother (or already dead).

Your car will probably work. But don't expect to get another tank of gas for some time, until the grid that powers the pumps comes back up. But with nuclear meltdowns all around the country, don't expect that to be happening any time soon. The roads will all be clogged, of course, the traffic lights out of order. No wonder everyone is buying SUV's these days.

We should all stock cyanide along with morphine, but instead we won't even be given iodine tablets because doing so might raise the suspicion of the public and that would be the most dangerous thing of all -- an aroused and angry America united against nuclear power, when confronted with the truth of what we are facing, is the thing our current government fears the most. Not the meltdowns. Not the blackouts. Not the financial problems. They fear the people mobilizing on their own, uniting to try to solve these problems by facing them proudly and matter-of-factly NOW.

-- rdh (modified from on a letter to a media person)

Stop Cassini's Y2K newsletter issue (#110), with lots of links, from April, 1999:

(5) Nuclear power plants need offsite power! (reprinted from newsletter #132):

We have warned about the Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) which occurs from a nuclear weapons explosion and which can cover the entire United States if exploded above our heads. We have tried to describe what such a blast would do to America, especially to her nuclear power plants. Here is what the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission's own documents say about the need for offsite power to keep a nuclear power plant running -- and this is without the added trouble of all the pumps and everything else in the power plant not functioning because of the damage from the EMP.


Evaluation of Loss of Offsite Power Events at Nuclear Power Plants: 1980 - 1996
Manuscript Completed: June 1998
Date Published: November, 1998
Prepared by: C. L. Atwood, D. L. Kelly, F. M. Marshall, D. A. Prawdzik, J. W. Stetkar
Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory
Lockheed Martin Idaho Technologies Company
Idaho Falls ID 83415-3129
Prepared for
Safety Programs Division
Office for Analysis and Evaluation of Operational Data
U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001
NRC Job Code E8247

----- (END OF TITLE) -----


It is recognized that the availability of alternating current (AC) power to commercial nuclear power plants is essential for safe operations and recovery. Unavailability of AC power can have a major negative impact on a power plant's ability to achieve and maintain a safe shutdown condition....

----- END OF CLIP FROM: NUREG/CR-5496 INEEL/EXT-97-00887 -----

The entire rest of the study appears to be utterly useless. It says, in short, we ain't seen nothin' yet, and gives various "precise" odds regarding how close we've come. Drawn out to three, or to a hundred decimal places, nuclear power plants are vulnerable to Y2K, EMP, terrorists, airplane crashes, space debris, operator error, pump failure, generator failure, poor design, and not to mention -- if they ever had to pay a dime on a dollar for the storage of the waste they generate, they would be out of business tomorrow.

-- rdh

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

If you have not yet convinced yourself of the madness of what NASA is doing, please visit our web site where the true is. But also, visit NASA's web site and see how they hide the truth behind lies and half-truths.

We must stop NASA's dangerous upcoming August 17th, 1999 flyby of Earth. (Note: that is the North American date. Local time to the point of closest approach to Earth (near Africa, just south of the equator and west of 0 degrees latitude) it will be early the morning of the 18th.)

NASA's Cassini spacecraft, with its deadly cargo of 72.3 pounds of plutonium dioxide (mostly Pu 238) was arrogantly launched in 1997 amidst strong protests (and much media silence!). Now it threatens Earth again! Please contact 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.

(7) Subscription information

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Published by Russell D. Hoffman electronically.
Written in U.S.A.
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First placed online June 25th, 1999.
Last modified July 12th, 1999.
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