rn: against militarization of space, Cassini


Jan Slakov

Date: Mon, 26 Jul 1999 12:54:29 +0200
From: Andreas Rockstein <•••@••.•••>
To: Jan Slakov <•••@••.•••>
Subject: [RE: RN: linking anti-war, anti-globalization movements] J18 against
 star war

> As you know, June 18, the first day of the G-7 summit in Cologne,
> Germany, will be the day for anti-corporate globalization actions in
> many (if not most) major cities in every continent.

Dear Jan,

Concerning your message (June 16th, 1999) I've a piece from June 18th for
you, a manif against militarisation of space ("star war") in London. 

Below I've attached a 2nd pice about Cassini and its relation to nuclear
star war, a hybrid NASA project (wich will start very soon) to fly to
Saturn with a plutonium-powered spacecraft. When I read this, the NATO war
in Kosovo seems to me like a better air-show ... (but it's so incredible
that I wonder if its hoax?)

All the best,


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 10:31:07 +0100 (BST)
From: Neil Gordon <•••@••.•••>
Reply-To: •••@••.•••
To: Multiple recipients of list <•••@••.•••>
Subject: space action

Stop Star Wars

Report of June 18th 1999 action against militarisation of space

As a contribution to the J18 global carnival (see www.J18.org ) ten people
headed for the London headquarters of the Lockheed Martin Corporation in
Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square for an action against the
militarisation of space. Lockheed Martin are involved in weapons
production (including Trident Missiles) and space programmes including the
Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. They are also
contractors to the US Military's Ballistic Missile Defence programme which
is considering putting weapons into space.

Police followed us from the meeting point and prevented several people
dressed in space suits from entering the building (an incident broadcast
live via mobile phone on Radio Scotland), but a statement was handed in
demanding that they cease weapons production and give their resources to
the Association of Autonomous Astronauts for the development of peaceful,
community-based, galaxy-friendly space exploration. A line formed outside
with placards saying Stop Star Wars - Military Out of Space and leaflets
were given out to passers by including people working in the same building
as the LM office. On the same day LM announced that they had lost millions
of dollars because of a typing error in a military contract, although we
are not sure if this was a direct consequence of our action!

Text of leaflet follows:

Stop Star Wars - military out of space

While film fans wait for the new Star Wars movie the real thing is already
taking shape above our heads. Space technology is a key part of the
military machine recently used to destroy people and buildings in
Yugoslavia and Iraq. And the US and other governments are actively
planning to deploy new weapons in space. Today the Association of
Autonomous Astronauts are demanding that one of the key players in the
space arms race - the Lockheed Martin corporation - hands over its
resources to us for the development of peaceful, galaxy-friendly community
based space exploration.

>>From the Blitz to the Moon

Space and military technology have always gone hand in hand. In the Second
World War, thousands of people were killed in London and other cities by
the Nazis' V2 rocket. After the war, the scientists responsible for the V2
were given new jobs by the US government. The V2 technology was refined
and served as the basis for both Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles
(nuclear weapons) and the Apollo Space programme that sent people to the

Today a high proportion of the satellites launched into space serve
military purposes. Data from surveillance, meteorological and
communications satellites was used to detect targets and guide weapons in
the Gulf War and in Yugoslavia. Naturally this super-accurate space age
technology didn't stop people being blown to bits in hospitals, houses,
prisons and on bridges.

Star Wars - the sequel

Military satellites are only the start. The US Space Command (part of the
US Air Force) is actively planning the deployment of weapons in space.
According to General Joseph Ashy, commander in chief of the US Space
Command (motto 'Master of Space'), "we will engage terrestial targets
someday from space. We will engage targets in space, from space".

In the 1980s Ronald Reagan's Star Wars programme was derided as a Cold War
fantasy. Now the plan to deploy weapons in space to 'defend' the US from
missile attack is back on with the Ballistic Missile Defence programme.
These 'defensive' weapons could also be used to attack enemy satellites or
targets on the ground.

Cassini - nukes in space

The use of lasers and similar weapons in space would only be feasible with
powerful energy sources, and public opinion is already being softened up
for nuclear power in space. In 1997 NASA launched the Cassini space probe
to Saturn with 32.8 kg of radioactive plutonium on board. Fortunately this
rocket did not blow up on take-off (unlike many recent launches), but
Cassini is due to pass close to earth again in August 1999 with
potentially catastrophic results if anything goes wrong.

Lockheed Martin Corporation

Today military and space technology are concentrated in the hands of the
same big corporations. With Lockheed Martin, the two areas are even
co-ordinated in the same section of the company - Lockheed Martin Missiles
and Space, based in Sunnyvale, California. LM are involved in the space
shuttle programme and the development of the International Space Station.
At the same time they are continuing to develop Trident nuclear missiles,
and are contractors to the Ballistic Missile Defence programme. Lockheed
Martin UK is a major contractor for the Ministry of Defence.

Association of Autonomous Astronauts

The Association of Autonomous Astronauts is opposed to the commercial and
military exploitation of space. We really don't think it's worth going
through all the effort of getting into space just to live by the same
rules as on earth. What attracts us to space exploration is the
possibility of doing things differently. We are not interested in finding
out what's its like to work in space, to find new ways of killing. We want
to find out what dancing or sex feels like in zero gravity, to find new
ways of living.

As part of the J18 global festival against corporate exploitation we
demand that Lockheed Martin  decommissions its weapon-making capability
and hands over its resources to the AAA. We will be outlining our
programme of community-based, galaxy-friendly space exploration  in our
Space 1999 Festival of independent and community-based space exploration
which starts today.

For information about AAA and Space 1999 see:

Also check out Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space:

  --- END ---

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 1999 12:30:35 +0200
From: Andreas Rockstein <•••@••.•••>
To: Undisclosed recipients:  ;  
Subject: [stop-war!] The FORCE Behind Cassini

Posted 7/21/99 12:35:55 PM


NoFlyby -- http://www.nonviolence.org/noflyby 

        Karl Grossman (•••@••.•••)
        Jonathan Mark (•••@••.•••)

                The FORCE Behind Cassini

        The irrational decision to employ plutonium aboard the Cassini
space vessel can be understood only by seeing it in the context of U.S.
military objectives to ring the planet with nuclear-powered weapons.

        For starters, the claim that there was no alternative to the
nuclear option is patently absurd.  By NASA's own figures, had the agency
reduced the space probe's weight a mere 1% - 130 pounds - then it could
have used photovoltaics instead of an extremely radioactive isotope.
NASA's chiefs opted to launch Cassini on October 15, 1997, with 72.3
pounds (32,8 kg) of plutonium dioxide -- which could deliver enough
plutonium radiation into Earth's atmosphere to match the entire amount
released since the first atomic bomb explosion.  All to provide the 740
watts needed to power the craft's electrical equipment.  Such an
enormously irresponsible decision defies comprehension - unless, of
course, there were non-scientific factors involved.

        NASA's association with the United States' military seems to hold
the answer.  Much of the reasoning behind the drive for nuclear power in
space can be found in the U.S. Air Force report, "New World Vistas: Air
and Space Power for The 2lst Century."  According to this report, "In the
next two decades, new technologies will allow the fielding of space-based
weapons of devastating effectiveness to be used to deliver energy and mass
as force projection in tactical and strategic conflict.  These advances
will enable lasers with reasonable mass and cost to effect very many
kills."  However, the report notes, "power limitations impose
restrictions" on such weapons systems, making them "relatively unfeasible.
A natural technology to enable high power is nuclear power in space."

        The agenda suggested in that Air Force report directly repudiates
the spirit and the letter of the 1967 U.S. signed U.N. Outer Space Treaty.
In essence, the U.S. military establishment is suggesting we annul a
crucial international covenant signed by 95 U.N. Member States.  Russia,
China and many other nations must be uncomfortable with such an arrogant
and menacing betrayal of peace diplomacy, and the push for the escalation
of the arms race.

        An article in the February 22, 1999 issue of Time magazine
headlined "Star Wars: The Sequel - Hey, what ever happened to arms
control? Well, here comes the new Bill Clinton, Star Warrior."  The
article began: "Disregard previous orders.  It's back to the future after
Clinton this month sent Congress a military budget proposing to pump $6.6
billion into development of a national missile-defense shield by 2005."         

        But "missile defense" is a euphemism, a smokescreen.  As an
examination of Clinton's actual 'Son of Star Wars' program clearly
reveals, the U.S. military is focused on domination, not protection.  In
the TV documentary, "Nukes In Space 2: Unacceptable Risks," Electronic
Engineering Times editor Loring Wirbel cites a 1998 U.S. Space Command's
Long Range Plan.  This military report describes how the U.S. intends to
wield power from space, taking "over everything between now and 2020 to
achieve complete dominance for the United States alone - no other nations
are invited to be involved."

        Wirbel's perspective about this is eloquent and pointed: "America
needs to express its leadership through good works and good examples.  The
more we try to achieve dominance through wielding power and having our own
way all the time, the more we lose the essence of our democracy that makes
us an exceptional nation and the more we move towards this dominance
regime, the more I have to say I'm embarrassed to be an American."

        Behind this campaign for U.S. space-based domination is an
enormous amount of money and force _ which of course includes massive
influence over the media.  These coercive factors are driving the use of
nuclear power for even NASA's "civilian" space exploratory missions.

        To pave the way for public acceptance of the nuclear option,
disinformation plays a big role.  For example, NASA has claimed the risk
of catastrophe is minimal - "a one in a million chance" -- despite
statistical data demonstrating that the level of risk of the Cassini
Mission failing is 10% to 12%.

        In addition, the agency has also told the public that even if an
accident were to occur, it would pose virtually no danger to the
population. However, according to NASA's own Final Environmental Impact
Statement, an "inadvertent reentry" of Cassini into Earth's 75-mile-high
atmosphere during the flyby would cause the electrical power system to
disintegrate, dispersing the plutonium so widely that 5 billion of the
world population could receive 99 percent or more of the radiation

        One way NASA has downplayed the potential harm from such an event
is by basing its figures on the cancer-inducing dosage of general ionizing
radiation.  But a NASA-funded project in 1997 showed that a single
decaying radioactive atom produces permanent mutation in a cell's genetic
material that can cause cancer.  (As reported in the Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences, April 1997.)  When the Cassini Safety
Evaluation Report (SER) for President Clinton stated that "several tens of
thousands of latent cancer fatalities worldwide" could result from a
Cassini flyby accident, it even underestimated the danger.  Although the
report referred to the 1997 findings, it did not mention the fact that
each kilogram of Plutonium contains trillions of radioactive atoms.  The
true picture is that the number of fatal cancers might be many times
greater than the number cited in the SER.

        What everyone must know is that it is still possible to change
Cassini's Trajectory! 

        NASA accelerated the Cassini space probe toward Earth from Venus
on June 24, 1999.  The closest approach to our atmosphere is planned for
August 18, 1999 at 3:28 AM GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), at an altitude of
about 729 miles (1173 km) and a speed of about 10 miles per second.  NASA
has scheduled three "trajectory correction maneuvers" on July 19, August
3, and August 11.  Each of the maneuvers offers NASA the chance to do what
reason and conscience demand: direct Cassini as far away from Earth as
possible. The military agenda that underlies this ill-advised adventure,
the development of space-based weapons, must not be allowed to radically
endanger our lives on this planet.  Space, as the Outer Space Treaty
states, should be used for peaceful purposes, "the exploration and use of
outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be
carried out for the benefit and in the interest of all countries." 


        "In the councils of government, we must guard against the
acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the
military-industrial complex.  The potential for the disastrous rise of
misplaced power exists and will persist."

        President Dwight D. Eisenhower

January 17, 1961
Farewell Radio and Television Address to the American People 


For references and links to NASA, the U.N., articles by Karl Grossman, a
scientific critique by Michio Kaku, accidents in space, solar storm
advisory, "Nukes in Space 2: Unacceptable Risks" TV documentary and much
other information, visit NoFlyby:

NoFlyby also requests that you consider sending your snail and email
address to join the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in


Farewell Radio and Television Address by President Eisenhower 
NoFlyby Action Site Table of Content 
The Global Network