Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Build your own Death Star for $8,100,000,000,000,000

For those of you grandiose schemers out there that think world domination through politics is for chumps, here is some good news. You could (theoretically) have your very own, fully operational Death Star straight out of the Star Wars movie franchise to enable your plans of setting up a new galactic empire. For this kind of power, all you have to come up with is $8,100,000,000,000,000. Oh and you will need 833,315 years to complete the project, give or take. It’s only money and time right?

The humorous economics of actually undertaking the construction of a deadly planet-sized battle-station comes from the site Centives. One of its writers decided to use a British aircraft carrier as the basis to come up with a ballpark figure of how much steel it would take to fabricate the Death Star. Using the mass of the HMS Illustrious, the writer scaled that figure up and found it would take 1.08×1015 tons of steel to complete construction. A large amount for sure, but reportedly there is enough iron on Earth to create more than 2-billion Death Stars.

Of course, most of it is found at the planet’s core, and harvesting it would have drastic consequences for both humanity and the environment, but you would still have your battle-station! Before you get upset over the fact that establishing your rule over the galaxy may have some significant hurdles, remember that all empires have humble beginnings. Palpatine came from Naboo after all, where the leader of the planet could bankrupt a cosmetics store. He went from senator for a backwater planet to emperor of the known universe. There is hope for you yet.

And, of course, that much steel is only the start. Mining, transportation, billions of man-hours of worker time, development of technologies, fuel, armaments, staffing the vessel, and other associated costs would make the costs of building a Death Star-like ship even more prohibitive. The costs would eventually be recouped once you started to take over planets, but you could only imagine what those loan payments would be like so you would have to act quickly.

Source: Centives

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