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Has the world forgotten the catastrophic danger if a plutonium-powered space rocket crashed to Earth

Beyond Nuclear 31st March 2018, President Trump has announced that he wants the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to “lead an innovative space exploration program to send American astronauts back to the moon, and eventually
Mars.” But the risks such ventures would entail have scarcely been touched upon.

For those of us who watched Ron Howard’s nail-biter of a
motion picture, Apollo 13, and for others who remember the real-life drama
as it unfolded in April 1970, collective breaths were held that the
three-man crew would return safely to Earth. They did.

What hardly anyone remembers now — and certainly few knew at the time — was that the
greater catastrophe averted was not just the potential loss of three lives,
tragic though that would have been. There was a lethal cargo on board that,
if the craft had crashed or broken up, might have cost the lives of
thousands and affected generations to come. It is a piece of history so
rarely told that NASA has continued to take the same risk over and over
again, as well as before Apollo 13. And that risk is to send rockets into
space carrying the deadliest substance ever created by humans: plutonium.
https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2018/03/31/the-real-houston-problem/

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April 2, 2018 - Posted by | safety, technology

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