Subject: Plea to Green Cross International: STOP CASSINI #150
Date: July 10th, 1999 [NOTE: NASA CHANGED THE FLYBY "CLOSEST POINT OF APPROACH" TO THE SOUTH PACIFIC A WEEK OR TWO BEFORE THE FLYBY IN AN EFFORT TO MAKE THIS PAGE APPEAR INCORRECT. HOWEVER, FOR MONTHS THE "TARGET" WAS AS IT IS DESCRIBED HERE. ALSO NOTE THAT WE ARE CURRENTLY UP TO NEWSLETTER #173 AS I WRITE THIS (AUGUST 16TH 1999) BUT A "CANCEL CASSINI WEBRING" -- WHICH WE KNEW NOTHING ABOUT UNTIL A FEW MINUTES AGO -- LOCKS OUT THEIR USERS WITH AN OLD COPY OF OUR NEWSLETTER INDEX PAGE! THIS ISSUE (#150) HAS BEEN LISTED AS THE CURRENT ISSUE FOR THESE PEOPLE AND HITTING "REFRESH" WON'T HELP UNTIL SOMEBODY FIXES SOMETHING! (You HOPEFULLY will be able to get to our REAL newsletters index page from HERE.) Don't you love high technology info-warfare? -- rdh]
Time Frame: Cassini is scheduled to do the flyby of Earth August 18th, 1999 (August 17th in the USA) near Africa.
The founder and editor of the STOP CASSINI newsletter is saddened by the death of Pete Conrad, 69. Pete, who was the third person to walk on the moon, was killed in a motorcycle accident in northern California.
He was my favorite astronaut; and I would not be surprised to learn that Pete was everyone's favorite astronaut. His recent appearances on SPEEDVISION have been delightful whenever we caught them. Outspoken, good natured, and enjoying the wonderful experiences life gave him, we will miss him.
The editor of the STOP CASSINI newsletter recently sent the following email to Green Cross International. If others wish to send similar (or different) letters to any of the various chapters of Green Cross International, a list appears below for your use. Remember that "they" will be contacting GCI as well -- "they" go everywhere we try to go! Our voice must be the more reasonable of the two (or three, or whatever) and perhaps also needs to be the loudest and the first. So please contact GCI today! -- Russell Hoffman
Green Cross International
PO Box 80 CH-1231
Re: Requesting an environmental statement from Mr. Mikhail Gorbachev
July 10th, 1999
My name is Russell D. Hoffman. I am a Citizen Sector Air Warden for the SoCal District of Spaceship Earth. I live in Carlsbad, California and am a United States Citizen. Although I love my country and consider myself a patriot, I am unfettered by the silencing oaths of past military service. I seek the whole truth about everything, and seek to present that truth to others that they might live more compassionate lives.
I am involved in a number of environmental issues and have concluded that an end to the Cold War is required before the world's problems can truly be solved.
If the Cold War were really over, then there would not be 35,000 nuclear weapons still available for use (plus or minus perhaps 20,000 -- who knows?). The world would not be being lied to by the superpower's military establishments about the dangers of low level radiation poisoning (as any reasonable observer can conclude has been happening). Russia would not be playing war games involving the use of nuclear weapons (as has been recently reported). America (and Russia too, I presume) would not be building nuclear aircraft carriers, when conventionally-propulsed carriers are overwhelmingly superior in every significant way. These horrors would not be happening if the Cold War were truly over.
And nor would the National Aeronautics and Space Administration have launched the Cassini spacecraft with its 72.3 pounds (~32 kilograms) of plutonium 238 dioxide -- it would have been a solar-powered mission.
Indeed, renewable and benign energy alternatives using the many wonderful new technologies which have appeared in the half-century+ since the nuclear demon was unleashed would be replacing nuclear power plants which are subject to Y2K failures and the electromagnetic pulse of a nuclear blast (not to mention, the blast itself, which would NOT destroy the nuclear component of a power plant, only distribute it around in the worst way possible).
I know Mr. Gorbachev is aware of much of these things I have written about. But I have not heard him speak against NASA's Cassini specifically, and he should. He must have had, available to him when he was head of the Russian KGB, access to documents that show the history of the thermoelectric nuclear space programs in the USA and the former Soviet Union. Therefore he must have been aware that we got the idea from the Russians originally, as documented in Subcommittee Hearings of the 85th Congress here in the USA in the late 1950's. Al Gore's dad was one of the committee members.
He must have been aware of these things, because Russia used and uses nuclear payloads with tens if not hundreds of thousands of Curies of plutonium 238 and Pu 239 on board, such as the Mars '96 probe which KERPLUNKED back to Earth with a nuclear payload which has not yet been found and MAY HAVE been incinerated into the atmosphere, in whole or in part, into deadly particles.
Mr. Gorbachev could not possibly be unaware of all this, and I implore him not to be silent on these issues now. We need someone who knows the full truth to speak out! This is a matter which concerns all humans with compassion for their fellow citizens of the world, and it is a matter for all other living things as well, although they cannot speak. Even snakes and reptiles get tumors, and whales and dophins too. Nuclear dumping of used payloads (and entire vessels) by Russian and United States Navy fleets has got to stop -- Gorbachev surely knows this!
Cassini, in the next few weeks, will become a world-wide topic of conversation. I urge Mr. Gorbachev to acquaint himself with the facts of this matter as quickly as possible -- I urge him to please read my most recent two newsletters (#147 and #148) which respond to David Grinspoon, an editor of Astronomy magazine, and Louis Friedman, Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Planetary Society. (The URL of the newsletters homepage, and many other relevant URLs are given below.)
If Mr. Gorbachev wants any additional information I implore him to view the rest of my website or contact me any time and I will try to answer any question he could possibly pose, or put him in touch with a respected scientist who can do so better than I.
I eagerly await whatever may come of this request.
Russell D. Hoffman
Peace Activist, Environmentalist, High Tech Guru:
Founder and Editor of the Stop Cassini newsletter:
Learn the madness of NASA's ongoing nuclear policies! Visit the Stop Cassini web site:
Facing facts: Learn about The Effects of Nuclear War here:
What is a half-life? (Compares Plutonium 238 to Plutonium 239)
What is the Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)? Is nuclear war winnable?
Hug a tree! Read why it should matter to you what happens to the great Redwoods in California:
Why you need encryption: An interview with Phil Zimmerman:
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/hightech/philspgp.htm (also available in Spanish)
** THE ANIMATED SOFTWARE COMPANY
** Russell D. Hoffman, Owner and Chief Programmer
** Carlsbad CA
** Visit the world's most eclectic web site:
The following list took several people some effort to assemble and we are very thankful to them. Please use it to wisely, quickly, and properly!
From: Hans Karow firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: postal addresses, phone/fax e-mail of GCI
Date: Sat, 10 Jul 1999 22:12:48 -0700
Green Cross International:
I : postal addresses, phone and fax numbers of GCI members
II: e-mail address list of GCI members
Green Cross International web site:
I. postal addresses, phone and fax numbers of GCI members:
Green Cross International
Route de Florissant 160a
Tel:+41 22 789 16 62
Fax:+41 22 789 16 95
Green Cross Argentina
11th floor, office 1107
1048 - Buenos Aires
Tel:+54 -1- 381-2673
Green Cross Bolivia PO. Box 4742
Tel:+591-42 87 372
Fax:+591-42 88 550
Green Cross Burkina Faso PO. Box 01
1043 Ouagadougou 01
Tel:+226-43 03 50
Tel:+226-34 40 77
Tel:+226-34 27 18
Tel:+226-20 41 61
Fax:+226-43 01 74
Fax:+226-34 27 18
Green Cross Cote d'Ivoire
Plateau 1er etage
Tel:+225-33 40 66
+225-33 40 64
Green Cross Czech Republic
Na Sabatce 17
143 06 Praha 4
Tel:+420-2-66 31 24 79
Fax:+420-2-440 32 721
Green Cross Estonia
Endla St. 4
Green Cross France
Green Cross International
PO Box 80
Global Green-Green Cross Germany
Green Cross Hungary
Magyarorszagi Zold Kereszt.
Tel:+36-1-312 81 57
Fax:+36-1-312 81 57
Green Cross Italy
Corso Vittorio Emanuele II n. 251
Tel:+390-6-68 30 08 56
Fax:+390-6-68 30 08 59
Green Cross Japan
Green Cross Japan Foundation
Green 11 Bldg 2F 3597
Green Cross Korea
Tel:+82-2-780 25 26
Fax:+82-2-780 94 34
Green Cross Netherlands
2288 EW Rijswijk
Tel:+31-70-307 04 57
Fax:+31-70-319 47 90
Green Cross Poland
Klinamatyczna Street 11
Green Cross Russia
Vorotnikovsky per., 4 bld. I, apt. 1
Green Cross Swaziland
P:O: Box 219
Luyengo - Swaziland
Green Cross Sweden
Andra Langgatan 19
Green Cross Switzerland
United Kingdom Millennium House
21 Eden Street
Surrey KT1 1BL
Global Green United States
227 Broadway, Suite 202
Green Cross Venezuela
Centro De Estudios Del Poder
Avenida Principal Macaracuay
Multicentro Empresarial, 8-07
Caracas - C.P. 1071
Bulgaria (Working Partners)
Group for Underwater and Speleological Explorations
Street Frumoasa 31
Tel:+40-1-312 40 51
Fax:+40-1 312 40 51
II: e-mail addresses of GCI members
At 01:02 PM 7/10/99 -0700, Mary wrote:
Thank you for the service you are performing...the first I heard about the Cassini project was 3 weeks ago and it wasn't until this morning that I began to understand the enormity of what is taking place. I am grateful to you for your dedication to educating those of us who are fortunate enough to have discovered your website... I work at UC ... in Landscape Arch. and Environmental Planning and am amazed I have heard nothing of this. My head must really be in the sand. Keep up the good work.
Thank you for your email! It's nice to know that someone has heard our screams of horror about what is happening. Many read in silence, of course.
Here are some things you might want to think about:
When something has been scientifically proven to be able to damage chromosomes on an atomic level, there is no way to dilute it to "safe" levels. It just becomes statistically impossible to identify the damage. I'm sure Cassini is more likely to pass by us safely than to reenter Earth's atmosphere. But is NASA correct that the chances are one in one million? And is one in one million really sufficiently long odds? What is this talk of "odds" when the losers can be so many and pay so dearly, and the winners gain nothing save for a tiny little bit of cosmic time, if that?
A Cassini Earth reentry on August 18th,1999 (local time to the closest point of approach to Earth, near (and aiming towards) Africa; August 17th in the USA) could release all 400,000 Curies of Plutonium 238 and Pu 239 in vaporized form -- in "ideal" particle sizes for humans to absorb permanently if inhaled.
A like-sized particle of "freshly isolated" Pu 238 is about 280 times "hotter" (emits 280 times more alpha particles per second) than the same amount of "weapons-grade" Pu 239 (for about 1/280th as long, but nevertheless for many generations). A Cassini accident would be an awesome radiological burden upon humanity and all living things.
What "odds" are there that are sufficiently long to risk that? Why was the 10 years that converting Galileo would have entailed (at most) not worth waiting for? 10 short years. The "10 year wait" may not even have been necessary: There is every indication Galileo -- and Cassini too -- could have been flown with solar solutions at the time they were designed and launched. So why did we do it?
As explained in detail in newsletter #147 (Item #1, a response to David Grinspoon's letter to me), proponents of Cassini justify it using one of three arguments. First, they might simply assume that the containment system will work (it won't, at least not always and at least not according to NASA's own Environmental Impact Statements). Second, they might convince themselves that there won't be an accident (there will, eventually, if we don't change our policies). Third, they somehow conclude that even if the worst happens, nevertheless 400,000 Curies of vaporized Pu 238 and Pu 239 will NOT harm very many people -- they assert this because they assume it spreads out in an ultra-thin, perfectly even layer. Actually, some areas will get more and some less. And some people will get more and some will get less. And some will be weaker and less able to survive chemotherapy or the loss of a lung. And some will be poorer and unable to purchase expensive medical care. But NASA produces one simplistic value, one minimalized "worst case scenario", to cover every possible accident.
The ultimate explanation for this madness is "the military connection". Plutonium powerpacks are used on Earth for deep-sea, Arctic and Antarctic (and other) surveillance purposes besides the military and "civilian" uses in space. None of these are good, but the space uses probably have the potential for the most harm.
Thank you again for your email and I hope you will tell others what NASA is doing, and tell NASA that they should not be doing it. These issues have come to the public's attention in the past but were then pushed down by skillful media manipulation. Let's not let it happen again. They will fool you with the most trivial of responses. They might raise the flyby height. Who knows: They might even cancel this mission! (Fat chance!) But we should not let that be enough. We must isolate the process and stop it entirely. If society thinks Cassini is not worth it (and I'm sure society would feel that way if they knew what was going on) then surely they would not think the military uses are worth it either.
Maybe it's time for truth hearings in America on the whole nuclear issue. Who will care to ask these questions later, when the damage is done and the people who did it are long dead? No one. They will only ask why others did not stop them.
Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908 - 1973) was America's 36th president. He was a staunch supporter of the space program and continued Kennedy's goal of reaching the moon before the 60's ended. This quote is particularly appropriate here because Cassini has NOT been democratically decided among nations. Many people object strongly to its plutonium and to the policy that plutonium represents, and the decision to use plutonium was NOT made fairly, openly and honestly:
"No national sovereignty rules in outer space. Those who venture there go as envoys of the entire human race. Their quest, therefore, must be for all mankind, and what they find should belong to all mankind." -- Lyndon Baines Johnson
To be for all of humanity, you need to tell humanity where you are going and what you are doing, and what you are forcing others to risk as you go your merry way.
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
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: email@example.com
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.
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Published by Russell D. Hoffman electronically.
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