In November there was a White House petition titled, “secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016.” This petition quickly reached 25,000 signatures, the minimum number of people required that will prompt the White House administration to respond. The petition says it will strengthen our national defense and create jobs. Students from Lehigh University figured out the math and it would take $852 quadrillion and 833,315 years to produce enough steel to build it.
Paul Shawcross, Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget (wow, what a title), responded to the petition. It’s always great to see that our government has a sense of humor. Paul has some very good points to why we will not be building a Death Star:
- The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
- The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
- Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?
Paul goes on and gives good information about the International Space Station and how it’s not just the government that goes into space anymore with the contract to bring supplies by SpaceX. You should check out the entire response if you have a few minutes to spare.
Paul closes with, “if you do pursue a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field, the Force will be with us! Remember, the Death Star’s power to destroy a planet, or even a whole star system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force.”