Launched Oct. 1997
The Cassini probe passed earth successfully in August 1999 with its payload of 72 pounds of PlutoniumBut given that these sorts of escapades are likely to continue unless popular pressure is brought to bear on the nuclear safety issues, this page remains to help focus people's attention on how the anti-Cassini movement operated and continues to operate to raise awareness about the proliferation of radioactive materials in aerospace.
Oct. 16, 1997The Cassini launch, which has been referred to in the news media as a "success" is really a new low in democratic decision making. As was pointed out in the New York Times Op Ed section on Thursday, Oct. 16, there is no necessary conflict between democratic decision making and scientific research. (I take issue with the rest of their conclusions.) But anti-democratic thinking has prevailed in this case-- most of the inhabitants of the earth have had no say, whereas some selfish bureaucrats and space fanatics at Nasa have pushed through this misssion which could have been conducted without nuclear power if safety had been a primary concern. The Cassini launch demonstrates an arrogance common in American thinking, a fault that may still lead to disastrous conclusions, since defense and space exploration departments continue to plan more nuclear follies. I hope that the internet may prove, ultimately, to be a corrective force in a media environment that has been all-too-friendly to nuclear interests with respect to Cassini and various other issues. Perhaps if more people gathered their news from diverse sources, rather than from the nearly monolithic drivel-stream known as the "mass-media", Americans would not find themselves always in the role of international bully.
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