Notice of Reopening Public Comment Period for NASA Pluto-Kuiper Belt Plutonium Space Mission

July 18, 2002

Bruce Gagnon


On June 10, 2002 NASA published the subject notice in the Federal Register reopening the public comment period for their Pluto-Kuiper Belt (PKB) mission environmental impact statement.

Written comments are due before July 25, 2002.

NASA is now considering launching the PKB mission on an expendable launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, in January 2006. NASA also now plans to use a conventional radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) in place of the advanced radioisotope power system originally planned.

Comments should include the following points:

1)  Launching of plutonium RTG's is dangerous and in a worst case release could contaminate significant portions of the environment.  Any environmental impact statement must give detailed description of the consequences of such an accident.

2)  The processing and fabrication of RTG's at various Dept of Energy facilities is dangerous to workers and local communities.

3)  NASA should be developing non-radioactive alternative power sources for deep space missions and until they do plutonium should not be launched into space.

4)  Not just U.S. citizens would be impacted by a space plutonium accident. This is a global concern.

SEND COMMENTS TO:

Mr. Kurt Lindstrom
Solar System Exploration Division (Code SE)
Office of Space Science
NASA HQ
Washington DC 20546

or send e-mail to:  osspluto@hq.nasa.gov

Comments from international citizens would be appreciated as well.

Please pass this notice on to others.

 



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