How should one build a Death Star? Step one is to find an asteroid, according to a NASA engineer.
The Death Star is one of the regal sights from the original “Star Wars” trilogy, symbolizing the power of the Dark Side. It was an engineering marvel until twice ravaged by rebels in the movies.
Now, could someone create something like that in real life? In a video interview, Brian Muirhead, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory chief engineer, said yes. For him, this is best done through constructing one out of an existing asteroid, not by launching a heap of stuff off a planet.
"It could provide the metals. You have organic compounds, you have water, all the building blocks you would need to build your family Death Star," Muirhead explained.
Following this suggestion, the blueprints of the Empire – or making the Death Stars out of thin air – were not the most effective way to go.
The scientist cited and is working on the Asteroid Redirect Mission of NASA, the first-ever expedition on a large, near-Earth asteroid with the mission to pull a part of it back to the orbit of the moon. The plan – slated for around 2025 – is for a separate manned NASA mission to fly near the moon, collecting samples of the asteroid for research.
Muirhead, however, did not have a monopoly of these cool Death Star thoughts. Earlier in December, financial engineering professor Zachary Feinstein published his study theorizing that to destroy the fully geared, operation battle station would lead to the Empire’s “economic depression of astronomical proportions.”
He assumed that at the time of its defeat, the Empire would likely have owed the banking industry half of the costs of erecting the first Death Star, as well as the full costs of building the second one. The banks’ shortfall would then be over $500 quintillion, a figure involving 20 zeroes.