So you say you want a Death Star. Not a Reagan-era Star Wars missile defense system, but a big honkin' that's-no-moon-that's-a-space-station sized Death Star under construction in our skies by 2016. All you had to do is put together a petition and submit it to the government on their official site. Then it was just a matter of getting a minimum of 25,000 signatures to garner an official response from the government on said petition.
Well, no matter how serious the original intent of the Death Star petition was, it seems that rather than being fuddy-duddy spoilsports keeping us from our planet-smacking laser death cannon, the White House got a sense of humor about the whole thing and trotted out a pretty clever, if not outright funny, response.
No, President Obama didn’t write it himself, but Paul Shawcross, the Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget, got the gig and knocked it out of the park, calling it “This Isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For”.
The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn’t on the horizon. Here are a few reasons:
- The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
- The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
- Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?
However, look carefully (here’s how) and you’ll notice something already floating in the sky — that’s no Moon, it’s a Space Station! 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.
Read the rest of the response on the official White House Petitions website: