The White House refuses to build a death star

Death Star
Death Star

If you were hoping for a death star to be floating through the galaxy anytime soon, you’re going to be disappointed because the White House has stamped its foot down and said nope.

In a light-hearted response, which was titled “This Isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For”, chief of the science and space branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget, Paul Shawcross, picks apart the petition. Still, at least the folks in charge of the US’s purse strings have a sense of humour.

“The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn’t on the horizon,” Shawcross writes. He goes on to list a few reasons why. The $850,000,000,000,000,000 cost is one (“We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it”), as well as the fact the Administration “does not support blowing up planets.”

Shawcross also raised the point: “Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?”

He points to the many space-based initiatives the US is pursuing, such as the International Space Station (“that’s no Moon, it’s a Space Station!”) human missions to the Moon in this decade, and a powerful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. Though he concedes “the United States doesn’t have anything that can do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs”.

Internet pranksters set up the original petition to “secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016”. It had more than 34,000 signatures, which is above the 25,000 needed to get a response from the Obama administration.

Shame really, part of me thinks that having a magnificent floating ship above Earth destroying planets would be a very, very fun spectacle to watch as I drift to sleep at night. Oh, am I going off into a fantasy now? Sorry!

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