Cassini No-Fly-By Action at the United Nations, New York, June 24, 1998

NoFlyby UN Press Conference Update

This email is to update NoFlyby subscribers on the press conference held at the United Nations on June 24. Not too surprisingly, the NoFlyby Press Conference was scantly attended by the mainstream media. We were informed by the UN Press Club that many UN correspondents were interested, but they had to cover a special Security Council meeting on Iraq. However, around five UN correspondents and Steve Jambeck of EnviroVideo and two other video groups covered the conference, which featured presentations by Karl Grossman, Michio Kaku and Ernest Sternglass.

After the question and answer period, Dr. Robert Mueller, the initial Director of the UN peace University in Costa Rica, said he would bring the issue up before the Director of the World Health Organization, Ms. Gro Brundtland, who was formerly the Prime Minister of Norway. A TV cable crew from New York said they would publicize the coverage of the event. The UN Press Club's director was very impressed by the press conference and invited us to return in the near future. Tina Bell of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (NY Metro) was an effective moderator, and rounded off the press conference well by alerting people to action suggestions that were provided in the press kit.

Presenters at the press conference revealed that the Cassini Earth flyby could have been avoided by waiting for a launch date in 2001. NASA also could have waited around two months for the Cassini launch to lower the flyby speed to improve the chances of the modules surviving a reentry accident. A NASA report quoted at the conference contradicts NASA's own claims that few would be harmed by a Cassini flyby accident. The report was sent to John Gibbons, Science and Technology advisor to the President, and stated that a Cassini flyby accident could cause "..several tens of thousands of latent cancer fatalities worldwide over the next fifty years."

Dr. Ernest Sternglass presented evidence from studies showing the correlation of nuclear bomb-testing and reactor emissions with the rise in infant and prenatal health problems such as Leukemia. Low level radiation is most damaging to the youngest and those with compromised immune systems. NoFlyby will be linking to a website to provide detailed information on the work of Ernest Sternglass and colleagues at , which they will go online this August. Their information shows that the curve used to measure the impact of radiation exposure by mainstream health officials is incorrect. Those models were based on studies from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb explosions. They need to use new models from recent studies of the impact of low level radiation exposure. Even the estimate of tens of thousands of latent cancer deaths from a Cassini flyby accident is far below the true risk assessment based on these critical new studies. Also, Dr. Sternglass has shown how the rises in tobacco-related cancers directly correspond to low level releases of plutonium radiation into our atmosphere. I am pasting below information received from Dr. Sternglass, which goes into this in more depth.*

The rally following the press conference, sponsored by WILPF Metro NY and NoFlyby, was also helpful in sharing information compiled from different speakers on health-related concerns. I had the opportunity of reading from segments of the NoFlyby statement, which is now endorsed by hundreds of organizations and individuals. It is vital for us to unite together and demand a responsible space program that follows the UN treaty signed by the United States in 1967 for the peaceful use of space. It doesn't make sense to risk adding more plutonium radiation into our environment for space or defense-related projects.

Whatever you can do to help this awareness is a gift for our future. My suggestion is to purchase and review Nukes in Space 1, 2 and the Wrong Stuff: The Space Program's Nuclear Threat to Life by Karl Grossman, then donate them to your local library and write a letter-to-the-editor announcing this and your reasons. Please consider using some of the ideas jointly written in the NoFlyby statement. What you do now is more vital and has more potential than in reacting to the flyby next August or the next time they launch another probe carrying dangerous amounts of plutonium on board.

"Nukes in Space II - Countdown to Disaster" will be completed and ready for distribution this summer. Please consider ordering it in advance to help with its final days of post production and distribution. This video is a wonderful opportunity to share the press conference and other footage that begin where Nukes in Space 1 left off, at the Cassini liftoff. You can link to EnviroVideo from NoFlyby or via .

Thanks to all of you who endorsed the NoFlyby Statement. You can still sign-on. The statement is posted at

A special appreciation goes to Dr. Earl Budin, Associate Clinical Professor of Radiology, UCLA Medical Center, who supplied critical documentation reported at the press conference. He suggests lobbying members of the U.S. Congress on the space committee. Space shots like Cassini is not beneficial for science or for our health.

Thanks for reading this NoFlyby update. If you know of someone who wishes to subscribe to the NoFlyby email list or if you wish to unsubscribe, please reply via email.

With best regards,

NoFlyby Coordinator
With special input from Tina Bell

Action Site to Stop Cassini Earth Flyby
P.O. Box 1999
Wendell Depot, MA 01380

ps: Below is Dr. Sternglass' information.


Dr. Ernest Sternglass Reports

Dr. Ernest Sternglass presented evidence from a study that correlated plutonium releases from the Rocky Flats plant in Denver with sharply rising cancer rates, increasing most sharply at low doses and then leveling off at high doses. Therefore, a straight line extrapolation for the dose-response curve used by NASA to estimate the risk at low doses from high dose studies greatly underestimates the true risk. He also presented evidence showing a large increases in infant and total mortality above the normally expected rates with rising levels of plutonium and fission products during bomb-tests in the U.S. and Great Britain. In addition, he showed that the recent five-fold increase in lung cancer among women in the U.S. began only in the early 1960s after the large plutonium triggered hydrogen bombs were exploded, while the percentage of women smoking cigarette actually declined since then. This indicates that, just as was seen for uranium miners who smoked compared with others who did not, that it is the combined effect of low-level radioactive and other chemicals and cigarette smoke that is primarily responsible for the rise in cancer incidence since the 1960s.

He also explained the reason why the effects of protracted low-dose exposures to plutonium and other radioactive elements inhaled or ingested are hundreds to thousands of times greater than expected on the basis of studies involving individuals exposed to the brief flash of the A-bombs or to medical X-rays, so that the number of individuals that would die of cancer and other diseases in the event of an accident during fly-by could be in the tens of millions.

Radioactive chemicals like plutonium concentrate in key organs of the body and act primarily via the production of free-radicals which damage cell-membranes increasingly efficiently as their concentrations in human cells decrease, or as the dose is spread out over days, months and years. On the other and, brief exposures to external radiation sources like A-bomb gamma rays or X-rays with the same total dose produce such large momentary concentrations of free-radicals that they collide with each other and deactivate each other into harmless ordinary molecules. Recent papers demonstrating the vast underestimation of chronic internal exposures to man-made radioactive chemicals acting on the immune and hormonal systems will be available on a new website of the Radiation and Public Health Project,, beginning in August.


A Complete List of Endorsers are posted at:

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

Report on Conference -- 1997 Cassini launch
Proposition One ---- Peace Park