This month saw the news that Americans are petitioning to build a “Death Star” by 2016 to “strengthen our national defense.”
The petition was created by the White House administration as a forum that promises official responses to petitions with at least 25,000 signatures. 1,600 people have already signed it and Dec. 14 is a deadline.
People who petitioned believe that the ultimate weapon will be a force of job creation – and not just for rebels seeking to destroy it.
“By focusing our defence resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system, such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration and more, and strengthen our national defence,” it reads.
It met the goal, acquiring 26,650 signatures by the deadline. And now, according to the rules, the White House has to either build the Death Star — or give a darned good reason why it won’t.
“We the People helps the White House understand the views of the American people and have a focused and civil conversation with them,” explains the White House website.
“If a petition gets enough support, White House staff will review it, ensure it’s sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response,” it claims.
The petition will now be placed into a queue to be reviewed by the US government, which will email each signer with a response once they’ve finished reading it.
A study earlier this year conducted by economics students at Lehigh University estimated that for construction more than a quadrillion tons of steel would require and about 800,000 years to manufacture.
“We decided to model the Death Star as having a similar density in steel as a modern warship,” the students said at the time.
“After all, they’re both essentially floating weapons platforms so that seems reasonable.”
They went on, adding: “Building a massive space weapon is all very well, but you have to find the materials to build it with.”
It has been already estimated that a Death Star would cost 13,000 times the world’s GDP or £541,261 trillion, to supply the steel for such a structure while labour and other construction costs would send the price even higher.
“Before you go off to start building your apocalyptic weapon, do bear in mind two things,” the researchers suggest.
“Firstly, the two billion death stars is mostly from the Earth’s core, which we would all really rather you didn’t remove.”
“Secondly, at today’s rate of steel production (1.3 billion tonnes annually), it would take 833,315 years to produce enough steel to begin work,” the students explained.
“So once someone notices what you’re up to, you have to fend them off for 800 millennia before you have a chance to fight back,” they concluded.