A White House petition created by John D. of Longmont, Colorado, received the 25,000 necessary signatures on Friday. That sentence seems quite standard news for the petitions.whitehouse.gov domain, but there’s a catch. This petition called for the government to “secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016.” Garnering 25,000 signatures doesn’t necessarily guarantee an official response, but it does put us one step closer to someday seeing the POTUS talk about building a Death Star with a straight face.
Back in February, we wrote about a study on the potential cost of building a Death Star. (Who knew that would find a potential real-world application so soon?) It turns out building a Death Star is an incredibly poor investment.
Economics students at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania estimated a 140 km diameter steel ship with a density similar to a modern warship would require 1.08 x 1015 tonnes of steel. There’s plenty of iron ore to eventually produce that. It would only take 833,315 years at Earth’s current extraction rates. It’s also cost prohibitive. It would cost $852 quadrillion dollars, which is around 13,000 times the entire world’s yearly GDP. And that’s not even including the enormous cost of adding a vent cover for the small thermal exhaust port right below the main port.