The U.S. will not be building a replica of the Death Star from Star Wars, despite a more than 34,000-signature-strong petition for the government to begin construction by 2016.
"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.
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."