May 4th is Star Wars Day around the country—so, why not break down to some Star Wars stats in honor of the holiday? Last year, a petition was sent to the White House, via its petition website, to urge for the building of a real life Death Star. Obviously, the response from the White House wasn't the "O.K.!" everyone had hoped for, and they had their reasons: construction of the Death Star would cost an estimated $850,000,000,000,000,000; and, well, the Obama administration doesn't support blowing up planets (you got spared again, Pluto.)
But, what if, they answer had been a... yes? Physics Professor Rhett Allain of Southern Louisiana University estimated that if we built the Empire's Death Star using Automated Transfer Vehicle robot cargo ships built by the European Space Agency (that currently supply the International Space Station and carry almost 16,000 pounds), we'd have to wait 10 years for the Death Star to be complete. Not bad, right? What's the hold up? Oh, wait: that's if four ATV's were launched every SECOND for those 10 years. What if we slowed it down, to, say... one ATV a month? That would take 5 billion years.
Hey, at least we have our light sabers.