Cassini No-Fly-By Action Invitation, New York, June 24, 1998


NEW YORK CITY - You are invited to attend a Press Conference at the United Nations from 11:00 A.M. to noon Wednesday, June 24, 1998. This Conference is in support of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty and is being held one year before the Cassini space probe is scheduled to swingby Venus for a final gravity-assist maneuver to accelerate toward Earth. The Cassini Earth flyby is scheduled for August 18, 1999. A record-speed Earth flyby is expected to accelerate the probe to reach Saturn in 2004. Cassini is controversial due to its carrying a record-load of dangerous plutonium on board, 72.3 pounds. According to NASA's Environmental Impact Statement, "..approximately 5 billion of the estimated 7 to 8 billion world population at the time of the swingbys could receive 99 percent or more of the radiation exposure," in the event of an accident during the flyby.
The Press Conference is being organized by The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) NY Metro, NoFlyby Action Site, Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice, Nonviolent Web, Proposition One - Peace Through Reason, Grandmothers for Peace International. Hundreds of other organizations and individuals have endorsed the following Statement for the 6/24 UN Press Conference. Many of these groups have also endorsed the Abolition 2000 Statement, which calls for International Negotiations in the year 2000 to abolish nuclear weapons. A rally is scheduled after the UN Press Conference at the Isaiah Wall, which is opposite the UN.

Speakers of the 6/24 UN "NoFlyby" Press Conference include Karl Grossman and Michio Kaku. Karl Grossman is an award-winning video documentary producer and author of the WRONG STUFF: The Space Program's Nuclear Threat to Life. Michio Kaku is a Professor of Theoretical Physics, City University of New York, Co-author of "To Win a Nuclear War," a leading authority on Einstein's Unified Field Theory and is the co-founder of string field theory. Tina Bell of WILPF NY Metro will moderate the Conference.

Tina Bell -- Tel: 212-533-2125 Fax: 212-228-6193
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (NY Metro)
339 Lafayette St, New York, NY 11215

Jonathan Haber - Tel: 978-544-7862 E-mail:
NoFlyby Action Site


"Sign-on for 6/24/98 UN Cassini NoFlyby Press Conference"

We, the undersigned, support the objectives of abolishing technologies and weapons that threaten the mass destruction of life. In particular,

WE BELIEVE that the scheduled August 18, 1999 Cassini space probe's record-speed and record-plutonium flyby of Earth poses unnecessary risk to life and should be abandoned.

WE BELIEVE that NASA and the nuclear industry underplay the harmful impact of radiation exposure.
Space programs have already released destructive amounts of plutonium radiation into our atmosphere by nine documented accidents. The Cassini space probe is carrying Plutonium-238 on board. Even if it had merely been upgraded to today's plutonium powerpack yield rates, it could have used 5 times less plutonium. This shows how little NASA is concerned with the amount of plutonium they use.
On June 23, 1997, Dr. Gerhard Strobl stated on German national television that his company, Angewandte Solarenergie, has developed new high-efficiency solar cells for the European Space Agency (ESA) which could be ready within a few years to power deep space missions such as the Cassini mission. Other solar options have been identified by NASA's own scientists and engineers, as long ago as 1985, well before the Cassini mission was designed. Why doesn't NASA devote the time and effort to develop solar technologies for the mission?

WE BELIEVE NASA is motivated not by beneficial science for humanity, but by a desire for military funding. Using nuclear power on scientific missions where alternative technologies exist can only be explained by a desire to get the public used to using nuclear power in space, which is a critical step in their plans toward the militarization of space. This policy jeopardizes the health of everybody on Earth.
The June 1995 NASA Environmental Impact Statement reports, "In the unlikely event that a VVEJA or VEEGA inadvertent reentry occurred, approximately 5 billion of the estimated 7 to 8 billion world population at the time of the swingbys could receive 99 percent or more of the radiation exposure."
A Cassini flyby accident could DOUBLE the current man-made radiation activity in our atmosphere. There is a debate among scientists about how much damage this would cause. NASA claims that only "2,300 health effects could occur over a 50-year period." Dr. Ernest Sternglass, professor emeritus of radiological physics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine said that they underestimated the cancer alone by thousands of times and there are new studies showing low-levels of radioactivity are disproportionately more damaging than high levels. In light of reason such a dangerous and uncertain mission is ludicrously irresponsible. NASA recently disclosed that 13 additional plutonium-fueled space shots are possible in coming years. So even if Cassini avoids an accident, NASA plans to continue to put humanity and life at risk.

We BELIEVE that it is time to change the destructive path of the Nuclear Military Complex, which continues to poison our Earth in the pursuit of its hellish profits. We believe it is wrong, in every aspect, to tax people to fund their projects, which are a total disregard for the sacredness and health of all life, and for science, the scientific method and our democratic free choice and right not to be threatened.
NASA plans to direct the Cassini space probe around Venus toward Earth on June 24, 1999. We have time and the responsibility to question the safety of flybys and launches carrying dangerous amounts of plutonium on board. It is time to say NO! to the heralding of another destructive atomic age before we enter a new millennium. We call upon our national officials, religious leaders, and each individual to question NASA's "right" to jeopardize life.
Make August 18 an International Day of Awareness to stop the advancement of all Plutonium technologies and weapons.

We call for Congressional Hearings to review the risks of the Cassini Earth flyby.

". . . While we have much to learn through the exploration of space, in this instance the grave potential danger posed by the plutonium on the probe would seem to outweigh the potential benefit from this mission. It is too important to squander the public's trust on such a risky mission. A NASA that all Americans can support instills hope for the future, not fear of tragedy..." (This quote is from a letter to President Clinton before the Cassini launch by 15 members of Congress, dated September 26, 1997.)

Signees: (original signees and group drafting the statement):
Karl Grossman
Michio Kaku
Ross McCluney
Ernest Sternglass
Helen Caldicott
Tina Bell
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (Metro, NY)
Martin Kelly - The Nonviolent Web
Russell Hoffman
Kai Petzke
Ellen Thomas - Proposition One Committee
Bruce Gagnon - Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space (Globenet)
Brian Keaney - Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice
Regina Hagen - "Stoppt Cassini" Campaign
Bill Sulzman
Harvey Wasserman
Barbara Wiedner
Grandmothers for Peace International
Jonathan Haber
Joe McIntire - Action Site to Stop Cassini Earth Flyby

A Complete List of Endorsers are posted at:

PLEASE sign-on by writing to or NoFlyby, P.O. Box 1999, Wendell Depot, MA 01380

For more information check out the NoFlyby Action Site

Report on Conference -- 1997 Cassini launch