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  • That's no moon.

  • It's a space station.

  • The enormous, planet-killing kind,

  • designed for only one thing

  • to bring order to the galaxy.

  • It's Star Wars' Imperial superweapon,

  • the Death Star.

  • I've got a bad feeling about this.

  • But it took the Empire 19 years

  • to build their first Death Star,

  • so we'd better get started.

  • It's unclear exactly how big

  • the DS-1 Orbital Battle Station was.

  • Estimates vary between 120 km (75 miles)

  • and 160 km (99.5 miles) in diameter.

  • That's substantially smaller than our Moon.

  • But compared to some of the smallest

  • moons in the Solar System,

  • it's enormous.

  • And we'd only need one thing to build it.

  • Big projects cost big money.

  • In this case, we're talking $852 quadrillion.

  • Eight hundred and fifty-two with 15 zeros.

  • And that's only the cost of construction.

  • Once the Death Star is ready,

  • keeping it up and running wouldn't be any cheaper.

  • Weapon or not, this space station

  • would require 1.7 million staff

  • to run the station's retail shops and

  • troop cafeterias.

  • Add 25,984 stormtroopers

  • and 342,953 Imperial Navy soldiers,

  • and you'll get 2,068,937 people

  • living aboard the Death Star.

  • If each person on the Death Star

  • created 1.13 kg (2.5 lb) of waste every day,

  • it would cost $564,925 daily

  • not to turn the Death Star into a landfill.

  • That doesn't include people who fell into a trash compactor

  • and weren't able to blast their way out.

  • "Come in 3PO!"

  • The daily electricity bill

  • would add up to $52 billion.

  • $274,000 to feed the crew,

  • with another $20,400 to supply tea or coffee.

  • $233,000 for one cycle of laundry.

  • You wouldn't expect your troopers

  • to run around with dirty underwear, right?

  • The total for keeping the Death Star operational

  • would amount to $7.8 octillion

  • That's more money than we currently have here on Earth.

  • And it doesn't include the cost

  • of a single blast of superlaser.

  • That would be an additional $8 octillion.

  • Still feel like firing lasers into planets?

  • Okay, then let's talk about

  • how you could build the Death Star.

  • You already know it would come

  • with the price tag of $852 quadrillion, but...

  • First, you'd need a hypermatter reactor core.

  • Let's not go into the specifics

  • of how such reactor would work,

  • and we'll just assume you already have one.

  • You'd build four reactor shafts,

  • all joined along the equator,

  • and a large column running from top to bottom.

  • This column would help to distribute power

  • and also act as a station stabilizer.

  • This mega project would require a lot of steel.

  • By some calculations,

  • the Earth has enough iron in its core

  • to provide for two million Death Stars.

  • But you wouldn't want to sacrifice our planet

  • for an army of deadly weapons, would you?

  • Even if you took only the amount of iron

  • needed for one Death Star,

  • it would take over 830,000 years

  • to produce enough steel

  • so you could begin construction.

  • And it would take millions of rocket launches

  • to get the steel where it needed to go.

  • By the time the Death Star was finished,

  • this might make the atmosphere so polluted

  • that we'd be forced to move away

  • from Earth to another planet.

  • We can't get too far from our planet, but...

  • you definitely don't want that thing

  • in Earth's low orbit.

  • There's too much of a chance of it

  • falling down to Earth.

  • You could start building

  • outside of the Earth's atmosphere.

  • Just make sure to not accidentally

  • blast our planet with the superlaser.

  • Speaking of the blast...

  • In reality, light doesn't behave that way.

  • Instead, it would keep moving

  • in whatever direction it was fired.

  • "Sorry about the mess."

  • By the way, destroying an Earth-sized planet

  • would require a lot of power.

  • You'd need to spend a week collecting

  • all of the Sun's energy

  • before you could fire up the Death Star.

  • And don't stand anywhere close to the beam

  • at the moment of the blast.

  • So much energy right next to you,

  • even when not aimed directly at you,

  • would cause you to evaporate

  • in a matter of seconds.

  • Then there's the recoil.

  • The third law of motion teaches us that

  • every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

  • That means if you packed a big enough punch

  • to destroy a planet using the Sun's energy,

  • it would send the Death Star in the opposite direction

  • at a speed of 77 km (48 miles) per second.

  • That's unless you had an antimatter device

  • aboard the Death Star.

  • Antimatter is matter, but

  • with its electrical charge reversed.

  • When antimatter meets matter,

  • the two destroy one another.

  • That's why you'd only need 0.00000002%

  • of a targeted planet's mass in antimatter

  • to turn that planet into space debris.

  • In this case, the recoil would be almost unnoticeable.

  • But you'd better not aim the Death Star

  • at any planets in the Solar System.

  • There is a better application for this weapon.

  • It could be used to vaporize any asteroids

  • that could be a risk for our planet.

  • Although a giant death orb might be

  • a little overqualified for the task.

  • At least when an interstellar asteroid

  • is hurtling in our direction,

  • we'd be ready to knock it out

  • before it destroys us.

  • "I've got a bad feeling about..."

  • "Quiet".

  • Building the Death Star would be

  • a very long and very expensive process.

  • Do. Or do not.

  • There is no try.

  • But maybe spare the Earth for now,

  • and save the deadliest weapon in the galaxy

  • for some angry aliens that might

  • come to visit us one day.

  • But that's a story for another WHAT IF.

That's no moon.

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デススターを作れるとしたら? (What If You Could Build the Death Star?)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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