I understand that NASA is now planning on using Jupiter to absorb the now nearly used up Galileo spacecraft. Beats littering our highways I always say.
Now some folks out there <http://yowusa.com/Archive/Sep2003/Jupiter_attack/jupiter_attack.htm> are suggesting that the plutonium fuel onboard may go supercritical as the spacecraft plunges into the planet’s super-dense atmosphere, lighing Jupiter into thermonuclear burning, turning it into a tiny star, ejecting sufficient atmospheric material and radiation to kill all life on earth. Since that includes me and my family I thought I should make a small inquiry. Is this yet another bit of alarmist drivel, or should we blow the college fund before the end of September?
Any outfit that refers to it’s readers as “netizens” is to be distrusted. Another article on that site: “DID PLANET X KILL THE DINOSAURS?” Or, “A HITCHIKER’S GUIDE TO NIBIRU.” Whatever. Just some dumb cult. Happy first post, by the way.
Well, according to the perhaps somewhat alarmist folks quoted in the URL quoted in the original thread there is something like 47 pound of plutonium on board. Under the pressures and temperatures to be encounted as the spacecraft plunges head first into the Jovian atmosphere at something like 107,000 miles per hour that much plutonium might just undergo fission producing up to 100,000,000 degrees in the resulting explosion which might just be able to then cause the pressurized liquid hudrogen of which Jupiter is composed to begin a thermonuclear fusion reaction – a planetary hudrogen bomb-like reaction essentially turning the planet into a miniature star.
Considering that the linked website also believes in Nibiru/Planet X and crop circles, and that the space shuttle Columbia was destroyed by sheets of “scalar energy,” their credibility on pretty much any issue must be called into question–particularly regarding scientific issues.
An elegant solution if ever there were one, but offering very little lead time.
The only reason I brought this up was in hopes someone would point out the error in their reasoning. If Galileo’s fuel were made of anything but fissible plutonium then it would make far less of a “splash” than Shoemaker-Levy 9.
Since there is even a remote possibility that the plutonium fuel might go critical it was in hopes of finding someone with sufficient expertise to point out why it WOULDN’T that I even bothered to post this thread.