White House Says No To Death Star, ‘The Administration Does Not Support Blowing Up Planets’
The White House has finally responded to a petition to build a Death Star, and the answer is no. Most importantly, “the administration does not support blowing up planets.”
The petition to “secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016,” received 34,435 signatures before the White House issued a response.
The Death Star, officially the DS-1 Orbital Battle Station, was made popular in the Star Wars movie series by George Lucas. The structure is large, spherical shaped space station. According to Wikipedia, the station can destroy an entire planet with a single beam of energy.
Paul Shawcross, Chief of the Science and Space Branch of the White House Office of Management and Budget, explained the decision in a detailed response. He begins by acknowledging that while national defense and job creation are important, the White House can see several issues with the proposal.
As Shawcross points out on whitehouse.gov, the Death Star would cost an estimated $850 quadrillion or more to build. That would most certainly defeat the current goal of reducing the deficit.
In addition to the cost, Shawcross also points out that the administration is not willing to endorse blowing up other planets.
The Chief of Science and Space further states that they do not support the idea of spending taxpayer money on a Death Star, which could potentially be destroyed by a “one-man starship.”
Shawcross continues his response by pointing out that we already have something floating around the planet, other than the moon. The international Space Station, which he implies might be at least interesting to those who petitioned for a Death Star:
“Yes, we already have a giant, football field-sized International Space Station in orbit around the Earth that’s helping us learn how humans can live and thrive in space for long durations. The Space Station has six astronauts — American, Russian, and Canadian — living in it right now, conducting research, learning how to live and work in space over long periods of time, routinely welcoming visiting spacecraft and repairing onboard garbage mashers, etc. We’ve also got two robot science labs — one wielding a laser — roving around Mars, looking at whether life ever existed on the Red Planet.”
In closing the response, Shawcross gives a final nod to Star Wars fans:
“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.”