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Nasa Launch Protest

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posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 04:12 PM
One of Nasa's spacecrafts called "New Horizons", is to be launched to Pluto in one week, and its going to use a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG), for its on board power.

Which is the reason that three dozen protesters are outside Nasa with picket signs.

Nasa's Pluto Protesters

from the above link
The demonstrators made speeches, sang songs and carried signs with messages such as "NASA puts us all at risk!" and "Even mousetraps malfunction. Is a mini-Chernobyl in our community's future?" in opposition of the nuclear generator being used to power the New Horizons spacecraft.

The protesters say a rocket explosion could expose people, animals and the environment to dangerous doses of radioactive plutonium. Many of the people who gathered outside Cape Canaveral Air Force Station alleged the mission is not just for scientific gain, but also to test the nuclear generator for use in space weapons.

space weapons???

dont the looney bins have locks on the doors.

Hundreds of people protested when Cassini was launched in 97'.
I think the risks...are worth the rewards.

Pluto is so far away how else would we power it? Solarcells are garbage at that distance.

I think Shooter McGavin in Happy Gilmore said it best: "Damn you people. Go back to your shanties".

Hope the mission is a success!

posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 04:23 PM
I agree with you here because how do they want it powered otherwise..
those people are made afraid because of groups like greenpeace ect whom are against all nuclear technologies. there is even a group whom going to protest at the site of the ITER fusion test reactor in france. because nuclear energy is oh so dangerous.

posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 04:42 PM

Originally posted by Murcielago

Pluto is so far away how else would we power it? Solarcells are garbage at that distance.

I think Shooter McGavin in Happy Gilmore said it best: "Damn you people. Go back to your shanties".

I think the rubber bands would likley wind down before the probe got to Mars. And the mice would probably starve (unless they fill up on green cheese you know where...)

Seriously, it is the only way to go, until a viable alternative is brought into being. To believe otherwise is ludicrous. You are also correct about the benefits, nothing, besides Voyagers, have been that far. The potential for information and discovery is worth it.

mod edit: quote clarity

[edit on 10-1-2006 by sanctum]

posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 04:44 PM
agreed, im all for space travel, with any means necessary to go about doing it. screw people!

posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 04:48 PM
They should spend their time protesting something important. Or should I say NOT important? While I think NASA could spend their money in a better way than sending a probe to that cold rock (like putting more money into the Terrestrial Planet Finder), it's still a worthy venture. Just look at the success of other nuke-powered probes like Cassini, the Voyagers, and Galileo. The benefit is worth the negligible risk...

posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 04:58 PM
Let me bring up a quote from that group:

"We have no problem with the peaceful exploration of space, but we don't think that's what plutonium in space is all about."

Perhaps I misunderstand that statement, but I don't see how using nuclear power in space is any indication of ever using a weapon in space. The name of this group indicates that they are against nuclear power in space for any cause but their statement indicates that they are for exploration. To me, this is just an oxymoron. Nuclear power seems the logical choice for a project of such scale as sending a probe to Pluto, solar cells would be completely ineffective and we obviously want the thing to still have power when it gets there. Danger has always been associated with space exploration and probably will be for a long time to come.

This group claims they represent thousands of people, I can definately say that I am not one of them


[edit on 9-1-2006 by UnknownOrigins]

posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 05:05 PM
I agree, i do not see why people are protesting while there is no other sufficiant way to power a craft for a trip that far... and now we are trying an very precice trip because that has to be a real long distance to predict...

but a space weapon? please... we dont even know hot to get out of our own solar system

posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 05:08 PM

I think the magnets ect are needed to be powered by nuclear energy
but are people going to protest against this to when they are going to launch it and if it works ..

why are people so against nuclear propulsion its not a weapon its a scientific probe not an nuke or a nuclear powered high laser system or what so ever.

nuclear power is needed in space.

posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 05:15 PM
I see lots of ridicule for the protestors and everyone talking up the benefits, but what about the risks?

Has Nasa ever had an accident?

Why yes, I believe they have.

Large explosions?

Yes, those too.

Would a nuclear powered probe exploding in our atmosphere cause us some regrets? Damn right..

posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 07:20 PM
These people need to do a little mroe research so they don't look so foolish


Many design changes have been made over the 37 years that RTGs have been used in space missions. In addition to designing larger systems capable of higher power output, DOE has funded research in thermoelectrics and other conversion technologies in order to increase the conversion efficiency. [DOE has also conducted extensive safety testing to assure the power systems would be safe under all accident conditions, including accidents that occur on or near the launch pad, and reentry accidents. The fuel form has been changed from a Pu-238 metal to a more stable pressed oxide. During the three mission accidents that did occur, the RTGs performed as predicted. The Transit 5-BN-3 mission was aborted because of launch vehicle failure. The RTG burned up on reentry as designed with the plutonium dispersed in the upper atmosphere. The RTG design was changed shortly after that to accommodate intact reentry. The next accident was with the Nimbus-B-1 that was aborted shortly after launch by a range safety destruct. The RTG was recovered, with no release of plutonium, and the heat sources were reused in later missions. The Apollo 13 spacecraft carried an RTG to be used on the moon to power a seismic station. The Apollo 13 mission was aborted and the spacecraft returned to Earth. The RTG was attached to the lunar module that broke up on reentry. The RTG heat source reentered the Earth atmosphere intact, with no release of plutonium, and currently is located deep in the Tonga trench in the Pacific Ocean. Extensive testing of RTGs in sea water has been conducted, and there will be no release of plutonium over time from this unit.

Perfectly safe, and can withstand a launchpad explosion, or re-entry and remain in teact

mountains and molehill's people


posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 08:50 PM
It's sad when people protest something they don't know anything about. They just freak out when they see the word 'nuclear' and automaticly think large mushroom clouds or something.

posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 09:24 PM
good post Jehosephat.

If only the protesters could read...

Unfortunatly...I'm sure were going to be hearing about them again when Nasa launches the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) in 2009, because it will be DUN DUN DUUUUN NUCLEAR POWERED.

[edit on 9-1-2006 by Murcielago]

posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 12:17 AM
Oh no, nuclear power in space, jeez that has to be bad!
I sure hope these guys don't find out what causes stars to shine so bright, or they will be holding up protests against our own sun!

posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 05:02 AM

Originally posted by mythatsabigprobe
I see lots of ridicule for the protestors and everyone talking up the benefits, but what about the risks?

Has Nasa ever had an accident?

Why yes, I believe they have.

Large explosions?

Yes, those too.

Would a nuclear powered probe exploding in our atmosphere cause us some regrets? Damn right..

a nuclear reactor or a nuclear isotope is perfectly containt in a shielded container just like a blackbox but even better protected and a black box can get to an explosion intact so there is nothing dangerous to it. even if a launch failure takes place.

posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 05:22 AM
This reminds me of the story I saw on the news today. Electric companies are being protested because they aren't using alternative power sources, like wind, and geothermal, and solar. So one of the bigger companies said "Ok, we're going to allocate 30% of our power distribution to alternative power sources." And they got protested for that. The wind turbines were too much of an eyesore, and damaging to the animals and environment. The geothermal was too risky because of the drilling, and solar power was just too ugly and used too much land.

It's the same thing here, exploring space is good, but using rockets and space probes to explore space is bad.

(I don't know that it was exactly 30% of their distribution, but it WAS a pretty good sized chunk of their power grid.)

[edit on 1/10/2006 by Zaphod58]

posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 06:21 AM
lol, people are getting very stupid. if they can find the stupidest thing to protest about, they are right to it. they need to sit back and relax

posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 02:08 PM
Zaphod58 - lol, I've heard those same arguments.

I'm all for "green" power...But I think the Majority of the US's power should be Nuclear. But then the argument is all about radioactive waste, and what to do with it. My answer would be simple, just keep it all under tight storage until the day comes when access to space is cheap and safe. Like when the Space Elevator is up and running, just hual one big tub of it up after another, and fling it into the sun.

posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 02:15 PM
I like this post. Its pretty interesting. I, myself wonder why in the world people want to protest about a rocket exploding spreading out nuclear stuff everywhere. But they dont understand, accidents are going to happen with experiments. Im also sure that they have saftey things for this. This project will go through, more than likely, its kind of hard to overpower NASA.

posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 03:57 PM
OH NO! if they use nuclear power for space exploration that means im going to have to start wearing a radiation suit when i go there on the weekends

seriously, it's for scientific study. If they can come up with a better cheaper way to power the thing then by all means protest. Until the protesters can show some working prototype of what they believe is safer and will actually work.....just zip it.

posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 05:18 PM
Ok here's something they can't be told - the protesters will die if they hear this.

Plenty of Carbon in the foods that we eat, in the rocks, earth and trees around us is RADIOACTIVE!!!

Protesters reaction: Ban Carbon 14 in foods. It will kill everybody. We must invent a filter of somesort!!


Im putting in capitals the words the protesters hear:

Yes, we will be launching a safe NUCLEAR powered spacecraft. The Source of the power will be an RADIOACTIVE element, PLUTONIUM which is produced safely. The spacecraft will be launched in a ROCKET into SPACE.

So, here are the 'key' words:



Wow. Now it sounds like it could be dangerous.

Though i do agree with the other half...Why look at an icy chunk of rock? It would be cheaper to make our own.

Oh dear! Whats that???
The Sun??
The sun is powered by NUCLEAR fusion (they dont understand concept: fusion. Its something to do with bombs they might think!)
Lets get rid of the sun.

I've noticed that many protesters that are against this sort of stuff are often uneducated and are following somebody because it sounds right...It the same with people trying to ban fishing in the UK - little do they realise without anglers money the rivers would be like sewers!!!

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