Protest Planned Against NASA's Pluto Probe Launch
The Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space of Brunswick, Maine has called for a demonstration at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Jan. 7 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm EST (1600-1800 GMT).
The protest will highlight opposition to NASA's planned New Horizons launch on January 17 that will carry a cache of plutonium to power the Pluto-bound probe's radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG).
To be launched by an Atlas 5 booster, New Horizons will head out on a long distance journey to shoot past Pluto in 2015. After that flyby, the New Horizons probe -- given NASA-approved extended mission money -- is to study still-to-be selected Kuiper Belt objects, ancient, icy and rocky mini-worlds that are leftovers from the formation of the solar system.
In a statement from Global Network Coordinator, Bruce Gagnon: "We might have escaped Cassini, we might escape New Horizons, but with plans to put nuclear reactors on the Moon to power bases there in the coming years, NASA will be launching a host of these missions. One thing we have learned is that sooner or later, space technology can fail."
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