NASA SPACE NUCLEAR ROCKET
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT
PUBLIC COMMENTS DUE BY MAY 31, 2005
NASA recently announced intentions to move forward with plans for the nuclear rocket (Project Prometheus) for missions to the Moon, Mars and other planetary bodies. They must first go through a public Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) review process. We strongly urge all Global Network supporters to help us by sending comments to NASA as soon as possible. Please share this e-mail with your list.
DATES: Interested parties are invited to submit comments on environmental issues and concerns in writing on or before May 31, 2005.
ADDRESSES: Hardcopy comments should be mailed to NASA
Prometheus PEIS, NASA Headquarters, Exploration Systems Mission
Directorate, Mail Suite 2V-39, 300 E Street, SW., Washington, DC
20546-0001. Comments may
NASA is entering the next phase in its scientific
exploration of the solar system that will increase the use of
NASA maintains the nuclear rocket could enable
multi-destination, multi-year exploration missions. NASA says increased
power and energy on-board the spacecraft would also permit: (1) Launching
spacecraft with larger
The EIS will articulate the purpose and need for space nuclear fission reactors for production of electric power and their relation to NASA's overall exploration strategy. The EIS is supposed to evaluate other power technologies to determine whether reasonable alternatives exist to meet NASA's purpose and need.
The Pentagon has long maintained they need
nuclear reactors in order to provide the enormous power required for
weapons in space. In a Congressional study entitled Military Space
Forces: The Next 50 Years it was reported
KEY POINTS TO MAKE (Please use your own words)
1) NASA & Department of Energy (DoE) have a bad track record of ecosystem contamination during the nuclear production, purification, assembly and testing process. Previous generations of the nuclear rocket were cancelled because of fears of environmental consequences.
2) The Pentagon has long maintained they need nuclear reactors for military use in space. What will be the military application of Project Prometheus?
3) NASA and DoE have underfunded research
and development of alternative space energy sources. Scientists at NASA's
Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio maintain that "there really isn't
any edge of sunshine"
4) What would be the environmental implications of a worst-case nuclear rocket accident? Why does the Price-Anderson Act limit U.S. liability to clean-up space nuclear accidents around the world?
5) In addition to the Florida space center, what other sites around the U.S. would launch the nuclear rocket? Where will the DoE test Prometheus?
6) Once the nuclear rocket is launched and reaches its destination, what happens when the radioactively contaminated rocket returns to Earth?
7) The enormous cost of the development of
the nuclear rocket comes at a time when the U.S. national treasury faces
enormous deficit. Our tax dollars would be better spent on health care,
education, public transportation,
8) For all these reasons we call on NASA, DoE, and the Pentagon to cancel plans for Project Prometheus - the nuclear rocket.
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear
Power in Space