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The Front Pages of Christopher P. Winter

The Cassini Mission to Saturn

A personal view

To probe further

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(Checked 12 February 2003)

JPL has a very complete set of Web pages covering the Cassini mission, the orbiter, the Titan booster, the RTGs, and a detailed engineering description of the Huygens probe.

Cassini-Huygens Mission Website (JPL)

Scientists in the United Kingdom have a somewhat similar page.

UK Cassini-Huygens Home Page

Here's JPL's page for the flyby of Jupiter, completed at the end of 2000:

Jupiter Millennium Flyby (30 Dec 2000)

The good folks at the Lunar and Planetary Lab are handling Cassini's imaging program.

Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory of Operations (CICLOPS)

Dr. Lance Erickson of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Directed a class project on the Cassini mission and spacecraft hardware

SP300 FALL 1996 Class Project (ERAU)

More information on the Huygens probe and the science it will obtain is available from an ESA site in the Netherlands:

Huygens Probe Site (ESA)

Some experts at Lawrence Livermore Labs have made available a paper about the medical effects of plutonium:

A Perspective on the Dangers of Plutonium

Background data on cancer mortality rates can be pulled out of the World Health Organization database:

W. H. O. Worldwide Cancer Mortality Statistics

Finally, Spaceviews has probably the most complete collection of links both pro- and anti-RTG:

Cassini/RTG Links

The opposition has Web sites too. There once were dozens, in fact. Many have gone. Without evaluating their contents, I'll provide a few URLs:

A site put together by Russell D. Hoffman. It contains a lot of material, including copies of several NASA documents.
STOP CASSINI: The Plutonium Probe

The Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice, perhaps the major opponent of Cassini and all things nuclear (except the nuclear family), is of course still active. See these sites:
Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space

Perhaps the most prominent scientist to oppose Cassini is theoretical physicist Dr. Michio Kaku. Here is a transcription of a paper he has written:
A Scientific Critique of the Accident Risks From the Cassini Space Mission

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Two new books from Britain describe the Cassini-Huygens mission. I haven't read them, but I know David Harland's work is well regarded. Ralph Lorenz and Jacqueline Mitton are associated with the University of Arizona, a center of planetary science.

MISSION TO SATURN: Cassini and the Huygens Probe
David M. Harland
Chichester, UK: Springer / Praxis, 2002
ISBN 1-85233-656-0 290pp. SC/BWI $39.95
LIFTING TITAN'S VEIL: Exploring the Giant Moon of Saturn
Ralph Lorenz
Jacqueline Mitton
Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002
ISBN 0-521-79348-3 260pp. HC/FCI $29.00

One of the best popular books about NASA's planetary science program is Pale Blue Dot, by the late Dr. Carl Sagan. Unfortunately, Galileo and Cassini are too recent to be included; however, the coverage of Voyager is excellent.

PALE BLUE DOT: A Vision of the Human Future in Space
Carl Sagan
New York: Random House, 1994
ISBN 0-67943841-6 427pp. HC/FCI $35.00

NASA's Science and Technical Information Branch has produced a host of books on its various programs. GALILEO: Exploration of Jupiter's System offers a close look at the science from that spacecraft, and probably includes some engineering details as well.

GALILEO: Exploration of Jupiter's system
C. A. Yeates (Galileo Science Manager, JPL)
T. V. Johnson (Galileo Project Scientist, JPL)
L. Colin (Probe Scientist, NASA-Ames)
F. P. Fanale (University of Hawaii)
L. Frank (University of Iowa)
D. M. Hunten (University of Arizona)
Washington, DC: NASA STIB, 1985
SP-479 285pp. HC/FCI $?

If you want to dig into the history and politics of this program, I recommend JPL and the American Space Program by Clayton R. Koppes, Assistant Professor of History at Oberlin College. Although somewhat dated (it was published about the time Cassini was born), the book is well researched and will give a good picture of the organizational relationships and prominent personalities in the space program. The book is part of Yale's Planetary Exploration series.

JPL and the American Space Program
Clayton R. Koppes
New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1982
ISBN 0-300-02408-8 299pp. HC/FCI $15.00?

For a view of the European side of things, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IN SPACE: The Example of the European Space Agency looks like a good reference.

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IN SPACE: The Example of the European Space Agency
Roger M. Bonnet (Director of Science Program, ESA)
Vittorio Manno
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994
ISBN 0-674-45835-4 163pp. HC/BWI $39.95

Engineering design of RTGs as well as reactors is covered by many books. An excellent place to start is Space Nuclear Power by Angelo and Buden. It provides a wealth of technical detail on the American RTG designs produced over the years, up through the GPHS design used on Galileo and Cassini. It also covers the various types of nuclear reactors and related issues such as shielding. Angelo served many years with the Department of Energy, producers of the GPHS, and he knows whereof he speaks.

Space Nuclear Power
Joseph A. Angelo
David Buden
Malabar, FL: Orbit Book Co., 1985
ISBN 0-89464-000-3 286pp. HC/LF/BWI $61.95

Incidentally, a lot of the Orbit books are coming out in new editions. It might be worthwhile to check with the publisher -- which is now Krieger Publishing, located in Melbourne, Florida.

A study of the radioactive background that surrounds us all, and forms the context for any possible impact of Cassini and its plutonium:

Environmental Radioactivity from Natural, Industrial and Military Sources
Merril Eisenbud
Thomas F. Gesell
San Diego, CA: Academic Press, 1997
ISBN 0-122-35154-1 656pp. HC/BWI $?

A reference for the effects of radiation on human health:

The Health Physics and Radiological Health Handbook (2nd ed.)
Bernard Schleien (Editor)
Silver Spring, MD: Scinta, 1992
ISBN 0-917-25105-9 734pp. HC/LF/BWI $?

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This page was created in 1997. Its contents were last modified on 25 October 2015.