Friday, September 8, 2023

Elon Musk Has a License to Crash Land & Sink SpaceX Starships off the Coast of Hawaii

Star Advertiser April 27 2023

Island Voices: Hawaii needs input on SpaceX ocean-landing plans

by Lynda Williams

Take away points:

  • On April 14, 2023, Elon Musk's private spaceship company, SpaceX, was granted an experimental launch permit by the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) to crash land the world's largest spacecraft, Starship, into the ocean 62 miles north of Kauai and a few hundred miles east of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.
  • For the environmental review for the permit, the FAA did not require the more rigorous Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) but only a nominal Environmental Assessment (EA) that did not require consultation with stakeholders or input from Hawaiian residents or agencies like OHA. 
  • The EA concluded that "less than one" of the more than 30 marine mammals protected by the Endangered Species Act would be harmed when the 100 ton steel ship explodes from 14 tons of rocket fuel onboard with a ton of TNT force or from the debris and shrapnel sinking or drifting in the ocean.
  • It is recommended that Hawaii demand the FAA suspend the SpaceX license, conduct a full EIS and include the residents of Hawaii in the review process. 
  • Starship is a spacecraft under development by Elon Musk's space company SpaceX, At 120 meters and a liftoff mass of 5000 metric tons, it is the largest & most powerful spacecraft ever built. It is intended to carry crew and cargo to Earth's orbit, the Moon and Mars. SpaceX has multi-billion dollar contracts with both NASA and the Pentagon for  civilian and military projects. 
Note: This is the original article I submitted. SA edited and omitted the photos. 

The world watched aghast as SpaceX blew up it’s own spaceship on April 20,  four minutes after launch due engine failure. Even though the mission was not completed, Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, claimed it was a success because the real goal was for the rocket to clear the launch pad at the spaceport in Boca Chica, Texas. 

What most folks don’t know realize is that Starship was always going to blow up when it crash landed in the Pacific Ocean, just 62 nautical miles north of Kauai and a few hundred miles east of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

In the next test launch, which Musk boasted will happen in the next few months, the world’s largest spaceship will descend towards the Earth in free fall and blow up upon impact with a force of a ton of TNT as fuel ignites in a great explosion. On a second and third launch test, Starship will breakup in the atmosphere and tumble down and crash land in a debris field several hundred miles long Southwest of the island chain as shown in the red swath on the map. 

SpaceX obtained a Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) commercial space launch license rubber stamped by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) without any consultation of the Hawaiian people because according to an email I received from the FAA, “No in-person public outreach was conducted in Hawaii as the Starship vehicle was planned to land outside of range for impacts to the residents of Hawaii.”  

First of all, that is assuming everything goes exactly according to the plan, which we have all just witnessed doesn’t always happen. If the Starship goes off course by even a few degrees the consequences could be catastrophic to Hawaii. 

Secondly, I think most folks in Hawaii would agree that 62 miles north of Kauai is considered Hawaii culturally if not legally and that is way too close for what is essentially a rocket bomb to crash land.

SpaceX was not required to do a full EIS or Environmental Impact Study, only a much weaker Environmental Assessment (EA) that only requires the analysis of ‘nominal operations’ or best case scenarios. Why was that allowed when the worst case scenarios are so catastrophic? 

For example, rather than doing a detailed analysis of the potential impact to Marine Mammals protected by the Endangered Species Act, NOAA wrote a “Biological Opinion” for the EA that argued “less than one” animal would be harmed by a 100 metric ton steel rocket with the energy of a small nuclear bomb.

It came to that conclusion because they only one “nominal” scenario that the Starship would hit the water exactly horizontal to the surface with the fuel tanks orientated on the top, which is impossible to control or predict. If the explosion is above water, NOAA argues, only a fraction of the energy will be transmitted into the ocean travel 

deep enough to harm to any of the 30 endangered species of whale, shark, turtle, monk seal, dolphin and rays protected in Hawaii. 

The EA has many unsubstantiated claims, such as no animals would be near the surface of the water during the crash - even though most are mammals that surface to breather air. 

It ignored the fact that Humpback whales migrate through the “action area.” It assumed that most of the debris will be large enough to sink to the bottom of the ocean without encountering and injuring animals - but if it any does drift into the PapahanauMokuakea Marine National Monument, then the Coast Guard would be sent to clean it up.

This alone is reason to contest the EA and demand an EIS since NOAA and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs co -manage Papahanaumokuakea and OHA should have been consulted, but was not.

The FAA and NOAA analyses are flawed, and both are failing in the their duty to protect the people of Hawaii extreme corporate and federal abuse. 

Hawaii must not become collateral damage and a colonized sacrifice zone for the government’s privatization of teh space program and a billionaire’s personal ambition and corporate profits. 

 At minimum, the FAA must suspend the license, conduct a full EIS and include the residents of Hawaiian in the review process. The best plan is to ban SpaceX from trashing people and planet in Musk’s ego trip to Mars. 

References: Every document cited can be found on this FAA website:

Lynda Williams is an environmental activist and investigative science journalist living in Hilo.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Online Resume

Lynda Williams aka Lynda Lovon aka The Physics Chanteuse
Youtube Channel     Music Videos      Blog      Twitter       TikTok    

I am a science educator and communicator, performance media artist, singer songwriter, science writer, political activist and organizer. 

Education:  BS in Applied Math, MS in Physics, Post Graduate Research in Physics Pedagogy

Physics Faculty: Santa Rosa Junior College, San Francisco State University, 2000-2022

Media Production Instructor & Visiting Physics Faculty, San Francisco Art Institute

Selected Performance & Media Works:

The Physics Chanteuse: Science Cabaret

I produce and perform custom science cabaret shows for scientists at conferences and events. Past clients include: American Geophysical Union, Academy of Forensic Sciences, The National Association of Science Writers, Stephen Hawking Birthday Bash, Kip Thorne 60th Birthday “KipFest” at CalTech, American Physical Society Centennial Celebration, US Science Festival, Swedish Science Festival, CERN, IEEE, AAAS, AAS, INSAP, PBS. Featured in the NY Times, LA Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, Physics TodayPeople Magazine and on NPR, and featured guest on To Tell the Truth.  

Science Media Content Producer
Science Entertainment,1986- current. Produce and perform science multimedia content and performances for s stage, the internet, planetaria, CDs, and DVDs: Maxwell's EquationsParody Violation and Cosmic Cabaret. Theater Projects include The Birth of VenusUniLangCyberstein, The Physics Chanteuse and Cosmic Cabaret.

Starship Earth: The Search for LifeSanta Rosa Junior College Planetarium,   Produced, wrote and performed an original science musical planetarium show on the evolution and meaning of life in the cosmos. Film, slide and video projection combined with live music, spoken word and song. Funded in part by the Astrobiology and the Sacred project at the University of Arizona.

Starship Earth: Future Evolution, Santa Rosa Junior College Newman Theater, Produced, wrote and performed an original science musical one-woman show on the future evolution of life on Earth and the environmental impact of humans on the biosphere. Large screen slide and video projection combined with spoken word, music and song. Funded in part by the Astrobiology and the Sacred project at the University of Arizona, and the Arts and Lectures Series at SRJC. 

Star Compass: Polynesian Wayfinding
Santa Rosa Junior College Planetarium,   Produced, wrote and performed an original science musical planetarium show exploring and celebrating the science and art of Polynesian Wayfinding. Funded by a Newman Grant.

Sample Press Clippings

Political Activist and Organizer, Speaker and Writer

More posters, shows,  images, etc:

Original Art for first Cosmic Cabaret Show

Unilang with Pamela Consulo

The Cyberset: with Joel Kohn

The Birth of Venus with Marco Fuoco

Thursday, February 9, 2023



HB927: Don’t Buy the Hype: Fusion is a Dangerous Delusion

By Lynda Williams

A bipartisan group of Hawaii legislators have submitted bill HB927 to create a task force to ‘determine the feasibility of amending the Hawaii State Constitution to include provisions to allow for fusion-powered reactors.” Everything in this Bill is wrong or a lie and it must be stopped in committee. Let me break it down line by line.

A nuclear fusion power plant is a giant facility that consumes tremendous amounts of energy and water and produces radioactive waste in the breeding of tritium fuel and in the reactor building. 

The legislature finds that in December 2022, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory announced that it had achieved fusion ignition, producing more energy from fusion than the laser energy used to initiate the ignition.

There was a lot of media hoopla about this ‘breakthrough’ but it is misleading propaganda. The nuclear fusion reaction lasted less than a billionth of a second and it took much more energy to make the laser beam and the tritium fuel source than was released. The term ‘ignition’ doesn’t mean efficient or self-sustaining – it’s a milestone word invented by the Fusion industry who have been in a failed business for over 70 years and have sucked nearly 50 billion dollars from US taxpayers to try to reproduce on Earth fusion that makes the Sun and stars shine. “Achieving ignition” is pure engineering hype and the Hawaii State Legislature should not be perpetuating such pseudoscience & misinformation.

The legislature recognizes that once fully realized as a source of power, fusion could allow the State to more efficiently meet the State's net-zero emission goals.

Being decades if not centuries away from being practical, efficient, and affordable, Nuclear Fusion Power cannot address the urgent clean energy needs of the world in time to mitigate the catastrophic consequences of Climate Change. Although fusion reactions do not release CO2, every aspect of the fuel cycle, from breeding tritium fuel with fission reactors at $30,000 per gram, to building the $30 billion football field sized reactor buildings, to decommissioning what will end up to be a highly radioactive building, produces tremendous amounts of greenhouse gases. Nuclear power, be it fission or fusion, is not a zero-emission power source. The Hawaii Legislature should not ‘recognize’ what are in fact, absolute lies.

 The legislature notes that, unlike fission reactors, fusion reactors produce shorter-lived radioactive byproducts and are a safer and cleaner alternative to nuclear-powered fission reactors.

The fusion reaction fuses deuterium and tritium into helium and releases radioactive neutrons that decay by beta emission and when absorbed by uranium produce Plutonium used in nuclear weapons.  

This is the biggest lie in the bill. As stated above, the fuel source for fusion reactions is the rare and short-lived radioactive isotope of hydrogen, tritium, which must be created or ‘bred’ in a fission reactor.  You cannot have fusion on Earth without fission to breed tritium. Tritium behaves chemically like atomic hydrogen and bonds with oxygen to form radioactive “tritiated water” and then decays to regular hydrogen by very dangerous beta emission so if it is ingested it is carcinogenic. Released or leaked into the environment, tritiated water is very dangerous because biologically it behaves like regular water. 

Power generated from fusion reactors still boil water to turn a turbine. Since it is hot power plant, the generator needs a lot of water to boil and to cool the plant. Hot water is released back into the environment. Tritiated water leaks and releases are common at fusion reactor sites. Hawaii is already facing severe droughts and water contamination from the military, does it really want to invest in and risk more contamination to the water and ecosystem?

Short lived radioactive atoms are MORE dangerous because they are more active and decay more often! The fusion reaction also releases neutrons which make everything they come into contact highly radioactive. If you put uranium inside the reactor building it will create plutonium, the main ingredient in nuclear bombs and the deadliest substance ever created by humans. Fusion reactors therefore have a very high risk of nuclear weapons proliferation and must be guarded by the US military. Because of this security risk, fusion power will never be distributed and democratized and must be operated by militarized corporate state control. There is nothing safe and clean about nuclear fusion or fission. Again, the Hawaii Legislature should not ‘note’ such dangerous lies.

 Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to establish a future fusion task force to:

(1)  Determine the feasibility of amending the Hawaii State Constitution to include provisions to allow for fusion-powered reactors;

Why amend the Hawaii State Constitution? Because during the 1978 Constitutional Convention a provision prohibiting fission power or radioactive waste disposal in Hawaii was added to the constitution. The reactor and housing will become radioactive and would most likely have to remain & stored on site effectively forever. Fusion power produces radioactive waste and is therefore illegal in the state of Hawaii.

(2)  Evaluate potential sites that may be reserved for fusion reactors; and

(3)  Identify ways for the State to accelerate the progress of fusion development.

We should not waste a penny or an ounce of human energy establishing a ‘future fusion task force’ to evaluate potential sites or accelerate the progress of fusion technology when Nuclear Fusion Power is a dirty dangerous militarized expensive and unviable power source that cannot solve our energy needs or mitigate the climate crisis and is currently illegal in the state of Hawaii.

The Hawaii Legislature Energy & Environmental Protection (EPP) committee will hear testimony on February 14th at 9:10 am.  Testimony can be submitted here by :

More info on Fusion Delusion:

Lynda Williams is a physicist and peace activist living in Hilo Hawaii.