Hmm, build a Death Star, a Starship Enterprise (NCC-1701 Refit), or maybe a really cool man cave…
Apparently the White House is compelled to respond to petitions whose signatures exceed 34,000. At least that many people have lent their names to a proposal to build a Death Star.
The response from the White House, in part, reads:
The Administration does not support blowing up planets,” wrote Paul Shawcross, the White House’s science and space branch chief, in response to an online petition on the government’s We the People website.
The CBC reported that
In order to receive an official response from the White House 25,000 signatures were needed in 30 days — the petition received 34,435 signatures.
In addition to Obama’s stance on inter-galactic warfare, Shawcross wrote that the U.S. would not invest in a Death Star because:
- Construction costs have been estimated to exceed $850 quadrillion US, which would expand the deficit rather than reduce it.
- The spacecraft has a “fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship.”
Shawcross says that even though the U.S. won’t have a Death Star any time soon, the world is already living in the future. He points to the International Space Station, Mars rover and floating robot assistants. Plus, he writes, there are several more projects being developed, including “a probe that will fly to the exterior layers of the Sun … and a much more powerful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope that will see back to the early days of the universe.”
He encourages people to join the field so that “the Force will be with us.”
The authors of the petition rationalized the strange request for a Death Star — a doomsday weapon capable of destroying planets, which featured in the film Star Wars — by stating that the benefits of such a craft would boost job numbers and aid in national defence.
“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,” said the petition.
Each petition must cross two critical thresholds in order to be effective. First, it must meet a minimum number of signatures for it to be publicly listed and searchable, and second it must meet the 25,000-signature mark within a month in order to garner a White House response.
According to the website, anyone 13 years or older with an email can start a petition seeking federal government action.