Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space
Note verbale dated 19 December 2005 from the Permanent Mission of the United States of America to the United Nations (Vienna) addressed to the Secretary-General
The Permanent Mission of the United States of America to the United Nations (Vienna) presents its compliments to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and has the honour to refer to principle 4 of the Principles Relevant to the Use of Nuclear Power Sources in Outer Space (General Assembly resolution 47/68) on behalf of the Government of the United States of America.
Principle 4 provides that a State launching a nuclear power source into outer space shall inform the Secretary-General on how States may obtain the results of a safety assessment carried out prior to that launch.
In accordance with principle 4, the United States of America wishes to provide the information below.
The New Horizons spacecraft is tentatively scheduled for launch in January 2006 to commence an interplanetary mission to Pluto. The spacecraft will carry one radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) to provide on-board electrical power and regulate the temperature for spacecraft operation and scientific instruments.
The United States of America has conducted a thorough and comprehensive safety assessment for the New Horizons mission. The results of the safety assessment are publicly available and can be obtained on the Internet at http://www.spacescience.nasa.gov/admin/pubs/plutoeis/index.htm or by contacting Mr. Kurt Lindstrom, Program Executive, Science Mission Directorate, United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, D.C. 20546. Mr. Lindstrom can be reached by telephone at (+1-202) 358 1588 or by electronic mail at email@example.com.