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A Modest Proposal To Boost US GDP By $852 Quadrillion: Build The Imperial Death Star

Tyler Durden's picture


Since at this point US society is irrevocably split into two camps, on one hand those who believe Keynesian propaganda, where the only cure for unsustainable debt is more debt, and on the other those who believe that a return to a gold standard is the only way to prevent an epic socio-political collapse, also known in official US circles as "extremists", and since we know that the status quo will never let the latter get their way without a fight (quite literally and quite violently), it is only logical that 'if you can't beat them you have to join them'. In which case we believe that instead of breaking windows, or starting wars, or even expecting a growth boosting alien invasion that would lead to a surge in GDP that may or may not come, one should not only go for broke, but do so in style. As such we propose that the US, already the world's most expansionist and aggressive foreign policy power, not like there is anything wrong with that of course - it is all for the sake of liberating oppressed foreign oil, should one up itself and build the true symbol of its contemporary socio-historical status: the Imperial Death Star. Yet the real benefit in addition to blowing up various alien world that refuse to bail out the world's central bank confederacy, is that the cost of construction of said Keynesian masterpiece, would be an epic $852 quadrillion, which in turn would go straight to US GDP.

Now naturally since this entire amount would have to be debt funded, and since MMT tells us that America can issue any amount of debt without a hitch, it would only make sense that the US Treasury should sell $852 quadrillion in bonds at a few basis points in interest (negative rates if possible) post haste, and use the proceeds to construct said engineering marvel. Since modern economic theory tells us that every dollar in incremental debt is roughly equivalent to a dollar in GDP (as idiotic as that sounds), this would result in what can only be called the greatest golden age in the history of America, whose GDP would rise by over 56,000 times overnight to a little over $852,000,000,000,000,000, and all American citizens would be the richest (nominally of course, after all that is all that matters) not only in the world, but potentially in the known galaxy, overnight.

Alternatively, in the highly improbable case that the US can't issue this entire amount at sub 1% rates, and if the US Treasury finds that even the shadow banking black hole that is State Street and BoNY is unable to sweep $852 quadrillion in US debt that would have to be issued and promptly repoed back to mysterious and benevolent "actors", all America would have to do is find an alien world that would be willing to buy said amount of US debt, with Use of Proceeds solely to build the most destructive weapon in the history of the galaxy, take the money, build the station, and then use the Death Star on said gullible alien planet.

Because as Stalin would say if he were alive today to see what true central planning is: "Death is the solution to all problems - no alien, no problem."

Like that, poof - immediate debt discharge, even as the US is still long one Empirial Death Star.

And that is how you grow GDP by 56,000x overnight and #WinTheFuture.


As for the actual details of how one builds said Death Star we turn it over to Centives:


How Much Would it Cost to build the Death Star?

Building a massive space weapon is all very well, but you have to find the materials to build it with. It's easy to say that "sure, the Death Star would be expensive" but is there actually enough iron in the Earth to make the first Death Star? Centives decided to find out.

We began by loo king at how big the Death Star is. The first one is reported to be 140km in diameter and it sure looks like it's made of steel. But how much steel? We decided to model the Death Star as having a similar density in steel as a modern warship. After all, they're both essentially floating weapons platforms so that seems reasonable.

Name: HMS Illustrious

Volume: 28,591.2 m3

Mass: 22,000 tonnes


Scaling up to the Death Star, this is about 1.08x1015 tonnes of steel. 1 with fifteen zeros.

Which seems like a colossal mass but we've calculated that from the iron in the earth, you could make just over 2 billion Death Stars. You see the Earth's crust may have a limited amount of iron, but the core is mostly our favourite metal and is both very big and very dense, and it's from here that most of our death-star iron would come.

Name: Death Star

Volume: 1,440,000 kilometres3

Mass: 1.08 x 1015 tonnes

 But, before you go off to start building your apocalyptic weapon, do bear in mind two things. Firstly, the two billion death stars is mostly from the Earth's core which we would all really rather you didn't remove. And secondly, at today's rate of steel production (1.3 billion tonnes annually), it would take 833,315 years to produce enough steel to begin work. So once someone notices what you're up to, you have to fend them off for 800 millennia before you have a chance to fight back. In context, it takes under an hour to get the steel for HMS Illustrious.

Oh, and the cost of the steel alone? At 2012 prices, about $852,000,000,000,000,000. Or roughly 13,000 times the world's GDP.*

But then again, you can just take out a loan from the entire planet and then default on them in the most awesome way possible.


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Thu, 02/23/2012 - 19:21 | 2191071 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

I got my DeathStar in Uranus.

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 19:24 | 2191080 FranSix
FranSix's picture

Look, the Death Star is improbable, solely on the basis of attempting to create ultra-high energy photons, without a massive ultra-violet source colliding with gamma rays and limitless gasses from a companion star falling into an accretion disk.  Can't do it.  You need a micro-quasar.

Why do I say this?  Well, you need to be a member of the Alien Scientist forum. mweh heh heh heh.

Or you can watch THIS

The Cygnus Mystery

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 19:26 | 2191086 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

This is so much cooler than drones ... Let's light this candle!

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 19:27 | 2191090 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Build it out of Hopium, save the iron for chains and manacles.

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 19:29 | 2191094 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

The Chinese will copy our Death Star but theirs will not have vents to the core that allow torpedoes in or fighters to get inside the superstructure; and the beam will be RED instead of Ben Bernanke GREEN.

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 12:31 | 2192930 Matt
Matt's picture

And a Chinese judge will look at the two, and determine that there is no resemblence whatsoever, that the Chinese version does not, in any way, infringe on the IP of the other.

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 19:29 | 2191098 Cheesy Bastard
Cheesy Bastard's picture

I'm gonna need to know where you are parking that thing before I buy any more ocean front property.

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 19:36 | 2191121 bobola
bobola's picture

From Greek news;

The long road of implementation of Greece’s structural reforms and of the unprecedented austerity of the bailout programme has begun with parliamentary votes on enabling bills detailing how the measures will be implemented.
Dailies focused on the wage and pension cuts and the massive layoffs that lie ahead.
New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras’ intention of reinstating the MPs that he expelled for voting down the new bailout garnered broad attention.
It was the last of many flip flops for the ND leader, who now wants to marshal all his troops for the electoral battle ahead.
Some of those expelled were among his closest advisors.
Premier Lucas Papademos’ refusal to accept the resignation of Culture Minister Pavlos Yeroulanos also captured attention. Yeroulanos – one of Pasok leader George Papandreou’s closest advisors – resigned after the armed robbery at the archaeological museum of Olympia, which came on the heels of the robbery at the National Gallery.
That Yeroulanos did not insist on his resignation led many to believe it was just a PR move. For citizens, it was yet another glaring example of the fact that their politicians never really assume responsibility for anything.
The uproar continued in the press over an unidentified MP who last year transferred one million euros from a Greek to a Swiss account. There has been massive pressure for parliament to reveal the name. Many MPs want the name released, as they feel that all politicians are now under suspicion.
“Wanted: Mr 1 million euros” declared Ta Nea’s headline, regarding the wealthy MP who just couldn’t trust the Greek banking system.
“180,000 real bankruptcies” reported Avyi’s headline. The paper cited a study that predicts tens of thousands of small business closures, with the loss of 240,000 jobs, in 2012.
Another story reported that the labour minister admitted that the new memorandum will deal a terrible blow to insurance funds. The 22 percent cut in the minimum wage means a whopping 6.5bn euro drop in revenues every year. That means that a new insurance reform – with more pension cuts – is on the cards.
Government spokesman Pantelis Kapsis this morning announced that new measures (meaning austerity) for the years 2013-2014 must be taken in June, suggesting that things will only get worse for Greeks in the future.
“March the skinner” read Eleftheros Typos’ headline, which referred to the austerity measures that will skin the middle class. The report spoke of the wage cuts that result from the 22 percent reduction of the minimum wage – all the higher wage brackets are pared down as well. The report said that sectoral contracts are going to essentially be abolished by the end of May, signalling the demolition of labour rights in Greece.


Thu, 02/23/2012 - 19:47 | 2191162 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Yawn! Stay on topic, doofus!

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 19:38 | 2191131 fuu
fuu's picture

Reagan did it.

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 19:44 | 2191149 g3h
g3h's picture

Tyler, you are one genius bastard.  Sell our national debt to the aliens.


Wow, think about it, just like that, when we wake up, all our debts are gone.  The aliens bought them all.  (Don't even need a Death Star to eliminate them.  Just let the world know.  They'll listen and accept.)

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 19:46 | 2191161 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

The genius bastard here is not Tyler, but Krugman.

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 19:48 | 2191167 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Wouldn't it be more practical to offer the Aliens amnesty and then start taxing them?

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 19:44 | 2191151 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

the weapons of this fanrasy were in place 30 years ago

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 19:51 | 2191173 DaylightWastingTime
DaylightWastingTime's picture

could we call it the death star of david? 

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 19:55 | 2191176 swani
swani's picture

Space bonds are the only way out.

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 19:56 | 2191178 Haddock
Haddock's picture

Will there be a bar onboard?

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 19:58 | 2191183 Hobbleknee
Hobbleknee's picture

Hard to trust their calculations when they can't even get the diameter right.

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 12:53 | 2193011 Matt
Matt's picture

That site has the Death Star II at 160 Km; I think the main post here is regarding Death Star I.

EDIT: NVM it looks like they went half-way between I and II. Or went with one of the alternate scales.

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 20:01 | 2191191 ButIfNot
ButIfNot's picture

Why do you assume it will increase the US GDP?  Most of the parts will be made in China through Foxconn.  On the bright side, the increased production quotas in those factories should result in enough worker deaths to reign in Chinese population growth....

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 01:05 | 2191856 Agent P
Agent P's picture

Fine...GNP gets the boost.

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 20:02 | 2191193 parch702
parch702's picture

For national incentive and pride, why not build (and I hate using the word)spaceplane.

Coast to coast in an hour and a half.

Put all those NASA people back to work.

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 20:05 | 2191196 bbq on whitehou...
bbq on whitehouse lawn's picture

Death Star would be a start. Full employment for 833,315 years. But i think private conractors could get it done in half that, or government workers in twice that time.

Build more steel plants and build more robots to work the steel.

Bullish for the Dow.

Full retard, once you start dont ever stop.

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 20:05 | 2191197 parch702
parch702's picture

WOW, one Chinese EMP torpedo and we're talkin' millions of pound of scrap iron,

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 13:03 | 2193088 Matt
Matt's picture

If you ground it, the shell would act as a Faraday Cage, so the EMP would never affect the internal electronics.

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 20:05 | 2191199 BudFox2012
BudFox2012's picture

I'm shorting this damn thing before they even build it.  Han Paul and Luke Celente say that a snub fighter can take this thing out with one gold torpedo to the thermal exhaust port.   It's a peice of junk.

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 13:05 | 2193103 Matt
Matt's picture

Good luck waiting 800,000 years for the big payout.

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 20:05 | 2191200 non_anon
non_anon's picture

be careful for what you wish for

DIA director: China preparing for space warfare Growing threat to United States courtesy Drudge
Thu, 02/23/2012 - 20:06 | 2191202 Internet Tough Guy
Internet Tough Guy's picture

Have Bruce Lee pilot it. You know Bruce Lee he ain't dead. They got him Krytonized down in Chatsworth, jammed in a silo and frozen hard as a carp. They're gonna melt him down as soon as the economy gets better.

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 20:07 | 2191203 BudFox2012
BudFox2012's picture

You know there is a greedy banker somewhere with a calculator right now crunching numbers on how many times they could leverage the value of this thing with it on their books...

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 20:09 | 2191209 DaylightWastingTime
DaylightWastingTime's picture

and we need a sky elevator to get there, for the kids of course. it will be like epcot but with super global warming laaaazers

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 20:10 | 2191211 EndTheMedia
EndTheMedia's picture

The Federal Reserve’s elastic supply of talent, sweat and time. 

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 20:11 | 2191214 jomama
jomama's picture

brilliant and hilarious

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 20:11 | 2191216 jomama
jomama's picture

brilliant and hilarious

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 20:19 | 2191230 Moneyswirth
Moneyswirth's picture

In other news, the smartest President EVAH! (tm), Barack Obamao has solved the oil problem.  


We're so fuckin lucky to have this guy as Preznit


Thu, 02/23/2012 - 20:24 | 2191248 DaylightWastingTime
DaylightWastingTime's picture

is that like O.G. ? errbody thuggin, no engines luggin.

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 20:19 | 2191231 toady
toady's picture

I always tell my kids I want an imperial death star for christmas. They always just give me ties.

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 20:31 | 2191262 Carp Flounderson
Carp Flounderson's picture

Epic economics fail

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 20:31 | 2191264 MarcusLCrassus
MarcusLCrassus's picture

Dilithium crystals, b14tches!

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 20:33 | 2191270 Salt
Salt's picture

Just build it with all the bullshit coming out of DC. There's plenty. The EU can even make one too.

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 20:42 | 2191295 supafuckinmingster
Thu, 02/23/2012 - 20:47 | 2191304 Aductor
Aductor's picture

In short, continue to fund DoD?

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 21:03 | 2191336 bugs_
bugs_'s picture

you may use any methods necessary but i want them alive - no disintermediations!!

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 21:05 | 2191343 nasa
nasa's picture

Would this project qualify as "shovel ready"?

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 21:06 | 2191345 shockadelika
shockadelika's picture

Uncomfortable Questions about the Death Star Attack

1) Why were a handful of rebel fighters able to penetrate the defenses of a battle station that had the capability of destroying an entire planet and the defenses to ward off several fleets of battle ships?

2) Why did Grand Moff Tarkin refuse to deploy the station’s large fleet of TIE Fighters until it was too late? Was he acting on orders from somebody to not shoot down the rebel attack force? If so, who, and why?

3) Why was the rebel pilot who supposedly destroyed the Death Star reported to be on the Death Star days, maybe hours, prior to its destruction? Why was he allowed to escape, and why were several individuals dressed in Stormtrooper uniforms seen helping him?

4) Why has there not been an investigation into allegations that Darth Vader, the second-ranking member of the Imperial Government, is in fact the father of the pilot who allegedly destroyed the Death Star?

5) Why did Lord Vader decide to break all protocols and personally pilot a lightly armored TIE Fighter? Conveniently, this placed Lord Vader outside of the Death Star when it was destroyed, where he was also conveniently able to escape from a large-sized rebel fleet that had just routed the Imperial forces. Why would Lord Vader, one of the highest ranking members of the Imperial Government, suddenly decide to fly away from the Death Star in the middle of a battle? Did he know something that the rest of the Imperial Navy didn’t?

In the video of the Death Star’s destruction, Lord Vader clearly exclaims “I have you now” then fires two shots. Those shots never impact — anywhere. Were they merely “added” to the “official” video after the event to make it appear that Lord Vader had at least attempted to fight off his alleged son?

6) Nerf-Herders defy the laws of physics? How could any pilot shoot a missile into a 2 meter-wide exhaust port, let alone a pilot with no formal training, whose only claim to fame was his ability to “bullseye womprats” on Tatooine? This shot, according to one pilot, would be“impossible, even for a computer.” Yet, according to additional evidence, the pilot who allegedly fired the missile turned off his targeting computer when he was supposedly firing the shot that destroyed the Death Star. How did the missile make a right angle turn after entering the exhaust port? How could a missile shot in the vacuum of space–that would tend to keep going in the same direction as it was released, according to the laws of physics–be *sucked* into an *exhaust* pipe? "Exhaust" means to exhale or blow out... Wouldn’t the missiles have been blown awry of their target rather than sucked in? If it had been an intake pipe, then the “bending” path of the missiles could be plausible. Why have these discrepancies never been investigated, let alone explained?

7) Why has their been no investigation into evidence that the droids who provided the rebels with the Death Star plans were once owned by none other than Lord Vader himself, and were found, conveniently, by the pilot who destroyed the Death Star, and who is also believed to be Lord Vader’s son? Evidence also shows that the droids were brought to one Ben Kenobi, who, records indicate, was Darth Vader’s teacher many years earlier! Are all these personal connections between the conspirators and a key figure in the Imperial government supposed to be coincidences?

8) How could a single missile destroy a battle station the size of a moon? No records, anywhere, show that any battle station or capital ship has ever been destroyed by a single missile. Furthermore, analysis of the tape of the last moments of the Death Star show numerous small explosions along its surface, prior to it exploding completely! Why does all evidence indicate that strategically placed explosives, not a single missile, is what destroyed the Death Star?

9) Prior to the destruction of the Death Star a smuggler named Captain Solo was reportedly given a large sum of money. At a crucial point in the battle, Captain Solo had an unobstructed shot on his choice of the fighters pursuing Skywalker, yet Solo did not take advantage of this opportunity to kill Darth Vader. Although Vader was in the process of firing upon Skywalker’s X-wing, Solo attacked the defensive fighter instead. In the aftermath, Vader escaped, while Solo still had crates of money in his cargo hold. Captain Solo eventually made his way to the Bespin system, where he was seen dining with none other than Vader, who was reportedly obsessed with obtaining Captain Solo’s ship (and the money contained therein). Solo’s ship was then seen flying into the super-structure of the second Death Star, destroying it just after Vader was able to get out (he was seen leaving a shuttle piloted by none other than Luke Skywalker). Yet through this whole sequence of events, the money was never seen removed from Solo’s ship. Was it used to bribe Darth Vader, who (allegedly) assassinated Palpatine? Did anyone other than Vader and Skywalker actually see Emperor Palpatine die?

10 ) During pilot debriefing we leaned that Obi Wan was the one who told Luke to turn off his targeting computer. He said he was told by Obi Wan to "Let go" and "Trust me". This is the same Obi Wan who was, according to the official story,  killed after sabotaging the Death Star by none other than Darth Vader BEFORE speaking to Luke. His convenient death places him inside the Death Star just before the explosions on the surface occur. By faking his death Vader would have given Obi Wan time to plant explosives. The only evidence of his death is his Jedi robe on surveillance cameras. And even that can't be found because they decided to conveniently let the evidence burn in the planet atmosphere. Also, why are there reports from Endor that Lord Vader, Obi Wan and Yoda were seen together AFTER their deaths? And who other than the Empire has the capacity to fake their deaths?

11) Lord Vader executed an officer for incompetence by allowing the rebels to escape. He then orders another officer to disable the Millennium Falcon's hyper drive. The rebels once again escape using thedisabled hyper drive. Why was the officer responsible for caring out Lord Vader's order to disable the hyper drive not executed? Why was he in fact given NO disciplinary action what so ever? Why did Lord Vader only disable the hyper drive? If Lord Vader didn't want the rebels to escape, why didn't he disable the ship entirely?

12) Why did the captain of the Imperial Stardestroyer not fire upon the lifepod with the droids carrying Death Star plans? The "official story" says he didn't find the any signs of life. He said  "Hold your fire. There are no life forms. It must have been short-circuited." Why would he be looking for life when it was electronic plans he should have been looking for. Why did he jump to the conclusion it was "short-circuited". Is he a lifepod engineer?

How can all this be just incompetence and coincidence? IMPOSSIBLE!

The most important question of all is why would a shadowy group in the Empire want to destroy such a technological wonder? Is it an excuse to invade Hoth and steal their oil; a planet which didn’t have anything to do with the attacks. Or is it to take away your religious freedoms to practice the dark side of the force? As incredible as this sounds it makes more sense than the official story.



Thu, 02/23/2012 - 22:28 | 2191524 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

...and let's not forget the video CLEARLY shows the Death Star exploding into it's own footprint in an obviously symmetrical fashion; NO other Death Star explosions on record occur with such symmetry.

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 23:00 | 2191629 marcusfenix
marcusfenix's picture

+852 quadrillion

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 23:32 | 2191703 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

Damn conspiracy theorists

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 01:45 | 2191889 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture


Fri, 02/24/2012 - 04:30 | 2192029 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

So are you suggesting that Lord Vader is really Dick Cheney?

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 09:20 | 2192284 Beau Tox
Beau Tox's picture

Send this one to WilliamBanzai7.

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 21:08 | 2191349 blindman
blindman's picture

Let Your Life Be a Friction to Stop the Machine
This Is A Must Watch Video
A brief and crucial history of the United States
Please send this video to your contact list and tweet often, so that we send it viral. Let us remember "Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people" - John Adams - Second President - 1797 - 1801
Now is the first day of a new beginning.
Each one - Reach One- Each One - Teach One
Posted February 23, 2012 - Class War Films

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 21:13 | 2191363 Crawdaddy
Crawdaddy's picture



Thats all it takes to get in my woman's pants. It ain't gonna keep her happy though.

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 21:16 | 2191366 Justaman
Justaman's picture

F-yeah!  Chairsatan as the emperor.  I smell Oscar, bitchez. 

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 21:32 | 2191402 DaylightWastingTime
DaylightWastingTime's picture

got to maintain the hegemony, be proud your slavery will always be denominated in usd.  keep spending and trusting, it is the patriotic thing to do.

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 21:47 | 2191437 Karmaisking
Karmaisking's picture

Hilarious.  A tour de force.  Why not use all the world's oil and energy to create a statue to Homer Simpson?  That would also increase GDP.

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 22:24 | 2191510 Miss Expectations
Miss Expectations's picture

Can't we just retro-fit the moon? 

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 22:37 | 2191561 blindman
blindman's picture

why do we need a death star again?

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 10:55 | 2192547 mickeyman
mickeyman's picture

The term "Death Star" is too negative. I think it should be given a more upbeat name, perhaps one that reflects its beneficial impact to the economy. I suggest "Maximum Employment Star" or perhaps "CPI below 2% star".

Thu, 03/01/2012 - 00:20 | 2211161 blindman
Thu, 02/23/2012 - 22:44 | 2191586 Dane17
Dane17's picture

If Ewoks are involved in this plan I am 100% opposed (unless I get an unlimited Ewoks hunting permit....).

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 22:57 | 2191621 spanish inquisition
spanish inquisition's picture

Hire me! I will do it for HALF that price.

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 23:08 | 2191647 marcusfenix
marcusfenix's picture

I think Iran might be building one of these in their secret nuclear base buried deep in the mountains.

yeah, I got a advanced copy of the next IAEA report and I'm pretty sure I saw something like that in there.

just don't tell Israel.


PS- how much gold do you think you could store in that thing?

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 23:54 | 2191757 Shepard
Shepard's picture

The volume of the HMS Illustrious is not computed correctly. In a boat, the draugt (or draft) is the distance between the waterline and the bottom of the hull, so:

1/2 * 7.6 * 36 * 210 = 28728 m^3 is the volume of the part of the boat that is under water.

However the displacement refers to the total weight of the ship. As such the real density is lower than indicated. Notice from the pictures that the boat is obviously not 7 meters tall.

An alternative, and easier way to get an estimation for the density is to consider a submarine. A submarine immobile under water has a density of 1 (same as the water. Neutral buoyancy). Assuming the same density for the Death Star gives:

Volume = 4/3 * pi * (70 * 10^3 m)^3 ~= 1.4 * 10^15 m^3

Weight = 1.4 * 10^15 m^3 * 1 tonne / m^3 = 1.4 * 10^15 tonne

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 00:10 | 2191768 Sizzurp
Sizzurp's picture

Operating in lower gravity, I don't think the Death Star would have to be as dense as a submarine, you could probably cut it down to 1/10th as dense, but then everyone would be floating around inside it.  If you want it to have it's own gravitational force suffcient to keep you planted on the floor while you walk around, it needs to be really really heavy. For example lets say it had a mass of 5.97 x 10exp23 tonnes , which is 1/10th the size of the earth, a 200 lb man would weigh 20 lbs.  

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 00:19 | 2191789 Shepard
Shepard's picture

From an engineering point of view I wouldn't add mass just for a stronger gravitational field. You could use for example magnets on the boots to create the illusion of gravty. Or have the station rotate in a particular way (as in

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 03:01 | 2191954 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

Are magnets on boots are the same as gravity? I don't think so.

Also, while rotation can create a sense of gravity, since the scale of any feasible craft would be very small, wouldn't this be like living in a centrifuge? I think this would be a lot different than "gravity" as we know it.

From an engineering point of view, what I have to say about this whole project is that it is impossible. There is not enough energy on this planet to get enough material into orbit to build such a "death star." You can print imaginary numbers, but in the real world, it's energy that matters.

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 04:34 | 2192030 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

This is why I left aerospace engineering for the Street ... The big aerospace companies were all focused on hiring timid, uncreative types at bargain rates to build bland little earthbound projects rather than to reach for the stars ... death or otherwise.

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 10:08 | 2192378 spanish inquisition
spanish inquisition's picture

Hence my "I will do it for half" remark above. I propose using the moon as a death star. We will tunnel into it and use the materials we find to assist in construction. It will start out as an orbital station. Plans call for the "gun" portion to be pointed away from earth and will have limited effect on any invading alien army in the short to medium term. Then after about 50-100 years, propulsion will be installed to let the moon escape orbit. DARPA research shows that loss of the moon will have minimal effects on tides and siesmic activity. And voila, death star!

p.s. I am pretty sure this is how we escaped Mars to populate earth. The evidence was lost until the 2 moon collision theory was raised.

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 02:01 | 2191903 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

+1 for showing your math. But the weight would be different in space. Why use a submarine to explain the forces experienced by a satellite?

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 02:14 | 2191913 Shepard
Shepard's picture

Same assumption as in the article. It seemed realistic to think that it would have an internal structure and materials similar to a submarine.

If you prefer a real spaceship, the space shuttle ( has a volume of:

4.35^2 * pi * 56.1 m^3 ~= 3335 m^3

and a weight of 2000 tonnes. For a density of ~0.6 tonne / m^3 in line with the other models.

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 03:03 | 2191957 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

On land. Not in space. F=ma. What is a in space again?

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 03:08 | 2191960 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

Hint: It's not g.

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 04:36 | 2192032 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

BTW, the weight is a derivative of the mass as acted upon by gravity.  It is the mass that needs to be moved that is salient here.

Did you ever think it might be very practical to harvest the metallic content of asteroids?

Thu, 03/01/2012 - 00:00 | 2211111 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

In quasi-free space, a<<g, so the force required to move an equivalently-sized mass would be much less than near the Earth's surface where a =~ g. It's not the mass that's salient, it's the force that's salient.

Your question about harvesting asteroids is a non sequitur, and no, I don't think it's "practical," whatever that means. The energy returned on the energy invested is much less than one, so the whole enterprise is a net energy loss and comes across to me as foolish.

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 00:11 | 2191758 Sizzurp
Sizzurp's picture

The Saturn V rocket remains the most powerful delivery device ever invented for lifting large payloads beyond low earth orbit.  It had a payload capacity of 116 tonnes. By my calculation, that would take 30,610 Saturn V launches per day to put that much steel up there in space. At 3.5 billion a pop, that also works out to a cost of 107 trillion $$ per day just for transportation. Hmmm , Oh well just a few keystrokes for the Bernank.

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 00:20 | 2191790 Shepard
Shepard's picture

Powerful is not the same as efficient. Elevators would do the trick for a fraction of the price


Fri, 02/24/2012 - 13:36 | 2193234 Matt
Matt's picture

Personally, for moving materials into space, I'm partial to the Babylon Gun, since A) it uses existing technology rather than future carbon nanotube mass production, and B) it seems to have less risks involved with catastrophic failure. You just have to build it in a country that the Israelis aren't terrified of.

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 00:28 | 2191806 Dead Canary
Dead Canary's picture

What is the current exchange rate for the SpaceBuck/USD trade

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 00:42 | 2191827 nah
Fri, 02/24/2012 - 01:58 | 2191899 PR Guy
PR Guy's picture

Just as construction was nearing its final stages, it would be taken out by the derivatives death star currently parked in Wall Street.

I see the Iranian nuclear programme going more or less the same way but I suspect that's going to be taken out by another kind of death star altogether. One with a star of David painted on the side of it.

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 04:26 | 2192027 onebir
onebir's picture

Sounds like a plan. And if budget is $852 quadrillion, the outturn cost will provide an even bigger GDP boost.

What's not to like?

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 04:39 | 2192034 silverbullion
silverbullion's picture

To infinity and beyond.

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 06:35 | 2192137 sodazed
sodazed's picture

The last time I bought a death star it was recalled due to a security flaw in the ventilation system....

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 07:40 | 2192178 uranian
uranian's picture

the best cover version in the history of the world?

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 09:26 | 2192294 t_kAyk
t_kAyk's picture

and you thought we were only going to vaporize your money... 

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 10:31 | 2192447 Thoth
Thoth's picture

That thing would use a lot of gas that's for sure.

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 12:09 | 2192848 shortus cynicus
shortus cynicus's picture

Being serious: what about pooling all uranium reactors and replacing them with thorium designs?

It would be new Hover-Dam project of 21 century. Even if it's against our religion (we are all Austrians now), the remaining by-product would at least provide useful energy, which is much more usable then real estate bubbles or Death Stars.

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 13:48 | 2193283 Matt
Matt's picture

How about making one commercially viable LFTR first, and also maybe developing the waste processing and storage solutions needed? Then publish the designs open-source so private companies can build them as desired. This limits the amount of intervention and the scale of the spending.

Sat, 03/03/2012 - 01:05 | 2219196 q5251355
q5251355's picture

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Wed, 05/16/2012 - 14:55 | 2432595 TheDriver
TheDriver's picture

1.08x1015 tonnes of steel? This should do wonders for MET coal prices.

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