Ez szerzoileg jogvedett, de talan nem dol ossze a vilag, ha elkuldom.
THE CASSINI GAMBLE
By William Thomas
MIAMI, Florida, September 3, 1997 (ENS) - On October 6, at 5:38 AM Eastern
Daylight Time, a spacecraft called Cassini is scheduled to blast off from
Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Onboard the $3.4 billion, 11-year voyager to Saturn will be a robot probe
carrying 72 pounds of plutonium - a substance Dr. Helen Caldicott warns "is
so toxic that less than one-millionth of a gram, an invisible particle, is
a carcinogenic dose." Caldicott, the founder of Physicians for Social
Responsibility adds that just one pound of the probe's plutonium, if
uniformly dusted around the planet by an explosion, "could hypothetically
induce lung cancer in every person on Earth." And it could cause a chaotic
cascade of birth defects and health problems through succeeding generations
of human and wild lives.
Even if Cassini climbs safely into space, it will return years later to
again endanger Earth. Because the probe's Titan-4 booster cannot provide
enough thrust to propel its payload at the 10-kilometers-per-second
velocity necessary to reach Saturn, some 794 million miles away, Cassini
will slingshot twice around Venus, in 1998 and 1999, to pick up extra speed
before hurtling directly back at Earth for a third "swingby."
August 16, 1999 is the day this plutonium projectile is scheduled to buzz
its home planet at 42,300 mph. Intended to "skip" like a stone off Earth's
atmosphere, Cassini is supposed to come within 35.56 seconds of what NASA
terms, an "inadvertent re-entry."
What if it is a half-second late? In its Cassini Environmental Impact
Statement, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
calculates that the radioactive "footprint" from a high-altitude Cassini
crackup could contaminate 50,000 square kilometers (19,305 square miles).
The uninsured space agency estimates cleanup costs at $247 million per
square mile. Approximately 5 billion of the estimated 7 to 8 billion people
in the world at the time of the swingbys could receive 99 percent or more
of the radioactive exposure," the NASA study calmly concludes.
Dr. Ernest Sternglass, professor emeritus of radiological physics at the
University of Pittsburgh, warns that the death toll from a bungled re-entry
"may be as high as 30 to 40 million people."
In reassessing its planet-wide gamble recently, NASA has lowered its
initial 1 in 1,500 chance of a Cassini disaster to 1 in 345. NASA's
Pasadena based Jet Propulsion Laboratory gives Cassini's volatile rocket
engines a 1 in 20 chance of failure.
So far, the U.S. and Russia have crashed nine nuclear spacecraft. After a
disintegrating NASA satellite dispersed a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of
plutonium on upper-atmospheric winds in 1964, scientists have found its
radioactive debris on all continents, at all latitudes. Dr. John Gofman,
professor emeritus of medical physics at the University of California at
Berkeley and former Manhattan Project innovator, attributes a jump in lung
cancers around the world to that incident.
Nervous North Americans remember how Cosmos 954 spread uranium-235 over
124,000 square kilometers (478,764 square miles) of Canada's northwestern
territory. Cosmos 954 was a Soviet Radar Ocean Reconnaissance Satellite
powered by a nuclear reactor. On January 24, 1978, Cosmos 954 deorbited and
came crashing into the Great Slave Lake area of the Northwest Territories.
Last November, an errant Soviet probe burned up over Bolivia, distributing
44 pounds of deadly plutonium-238 among the populace there.
This October's roll of the dice will be the second test of a new Titan
"bird," as satellites are often called. An earlier model Titan blew up on
lift-off in late 1993. Last January, a Delta rocket went bang 13 seconds
after departing the Cape. As toxic fuels spread over 80 miles downrange,
hapless "downwinders" were told to stay indoors with the windows closed.
Presumably, if Cassini "does a Challenger" everyone on Earth will be told
to keep their windows shut and not venture outside for the next 240,000 years.
There is a workable alternative to plutonium power. Decaying plutonium from
Cassini's three onboard radioisotope thermal generators will generate
enough power to light only half a dozen 120-watt light bulbs. Three years
ago, the European Space Agency achieved a stunning 25% efficiency in solar
cells - making these silent sunshine collectors ideal for deep-space
missions. Dutch physicist Dr. Carla Signorini predicted the super-solar
panels could be in space within five years of receiving a NASA contract.
But Lt. General James Abrahamson, former head of the Strategic Defense
Initiative organization, bemoaned the breakthrough stating that, "Failure
to develop nuclear power in space could cripple efforts to deploy
anti-missile sensors and weapons in orbit."
Alan Kohn, a veteran NASA safety officer whose job was to protect space
center workers against fallout from previous plutonium-powered probes,
recently told a Florida gathering of anti-Cassini technophobes at the
Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice demonstration outside the gates of
the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on June 14, "If I had my family there,
I'd get the hell out of there before that launch."
On October 4 there will be another rally at Cape Canaveral against the
Cassini Space Probe. A growing group of anti-Cassini protesters is urgently
asking, "How do we evacuate the planet?"
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"You must be the change you wish to
see in the world."
> Jovore szeretnek epitkezni es nagyon erdekel mindenfele kornyezetbarat
> dolog, tobbek kozt a kornyezetbarat epitkezes is. A Biofuzetek sorozatban
> megjelent meg regebben egy fuzet ebben a temaban csak sajnos az '86-os es
> ugye az eleg regi, masreszt meg nem is tul reszletes.
> Szoval szeretnek meg tobb infot ebben a temaban, lehetoleg '90 utani
> irodalmat, ujsagcikket es persze akinek ebben van tapasztalata es megosztana
> velem, az is nagy oromomre szolgalna.
A tavalyi NaturExpo-n mutattak be a KTM altal tamogatott Autonom(onnfentarto)-
Hazat, melynek lenyege a hulladekkibocsatas minimalizalasa, az eroforrasokkal
torteno maximalis takarekoskodas, ill. a hasznalatosnal celszerubb megoldasok
bevezetese, alkalmazasa (pl. esovizzel torteno mosas). A tervben a hazhoz egy
kisebb meretu telepitett nadas tartozik, mely a szennyviz tisztitasat hivatott
A koncepcio nagyon megtetszett, azota is szerettem volna utanajarni, vajon
letezik-e ebbol mar mukodo peldany?... Nem tudja valaki???...
Tovabbi kerdes: a radioban egy BME-s kutatoval egyszer volt egy riport, aki
a napkollektort akarja forradalmasitani. Fejlesztesenek gyumolcset napkoncent-
ratornak nevezte es allitotta, hogy a napkollektoroknal lenyegesen jobb hatas-
fokkal hasznosithatja a napenergiat: egy takarekosabb eletmod vill. energiaige-
nyenek csaknem egeszet biztosithatna. Nem tud errol az urrol valaki valamit???
- yoghurt -