The White House has given an official response to the online petition “Secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016”, which has over 34,000 signatures. In a response entitled “This isn’t the petition you’re looking for”, Paul Shawcross, Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the Office of Management and Budget, points out some of the key issues against building the not-quite-ultimate power in the universe:
- 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?
With plenty of links, Shawcross continues the response with examples of what the U.S. is doing to develop other Star Wars-esque technologies, including laser-wielding robots on other planets (Mars Rover), and fostering greater interest in STEM careers.
Probably another key consideration would be the additional security risk to prevent the Death Star plans from being stolen.