Saturday, 12 January 2013

US government says No to the Deathstar

It is indeed a dark day for the Empire.

Recently some 35,000 signatories signed a petition to lobby the US government to begin construction of a Deathstar in orbit.

Such a project would arguably create hundreds of thousands of jobs and have epic National defence implications.

The Whitehouse has predictably declined. Their response, laden with Star Wars clichés does have some good points too.

The overall cost to building a Deathstar is fairly astronomical. OK, so you don't have to build a fully functioning hyperdrive (after all if we had hyperdrive technology we would have access to the Galaxy!!!) which will save a vast amount of money but on the flip side the US will be paying its construction teams rather than using Wookie slaves and convicts from the planet Despayre.

Also there is the problem of resources. The Empire were able to strip mine whole planets for resources and leave them dead or heavilly polluted. We've only got one planet and if we were to construct a Deathstar on the scale of the Second Deathstar, which would be preferable, it would have a diameter of 900 km which, although small compared to the moon's 3476.28 km diameter, is still an lot of metal, more than would be attainable from this one planet.

There is of course the problem of the gravitational pull of this new small moon effecting the tides, weathers and seasons on Earth and interfearing with the Moon's own effects. For further details from renowned Star Wars physist Curtis Saxton on a much more detailed level try here.

As for the operational use of the station, the US government are indeed wrong. The Second battle station, perfected by Limelesk's team got rid of the thermal exhaust port that proved so hazardous to the first station and instead vented exhaust through 2cm square vents across the skin of the whole station. Had it been completed the station would have been somewhat indestructable from an external battle fleet and would have only been vulnerable to sabotage from the inside. Should the station explode in high orbit then the results planet side would be horrendous. As Curtis Saxton theorised the Forrest moon of Endor would have been plunged into a Nuclear winter. This may be a risk that religious fundamentalists are willing to take, in the resulting chaos and collapse of Government they could indeed take over. It is however not a risk the US government are willing to take.

As for the ability to destroy a planet, it would be seriously unlikely that any US officer would give the order to fire at full Primary ignition, but then again it only takes one! The weapon also has a powered down setting and can be used for orbnital bombardments or merely used for cutting the crust down to the molten core. A very powerful diplomatic tool yet would attract a lot of protesters and world wide condemnation as the US could hold the rest of us to ransom.

Although painful, I am going to admit the construction of my favoured battle/space station is best put on the backburner for now...

Instead let us commence lobbying the Americans to build a more efficient alternative:

Babylon 5

Babylon 5 is a much cheaper station with less high tech gizmos on her. She is only 8kms long built around a spinning hull (or O'neill hull) that creates an artificial gravity.

There are no scary superlasers, wings of TIE fighters and its destruction, although dangerous, would not plunge the Earth into a nuclear winter!

There is also the peaceful applications of the station with a UN style chambers and quarters which could allow ambassadors and delegates to have a better persective of the planet and scale of things. A truly neutral standpoint and one where groups could learn to understand one another.


  1. We could always try building Red Dwarf instead. XD

  2. That is the best outcome in our present circumstances. Babylon 5 always was our last, best hope for peace, and was built for that purpose. The Death Star was built to destroy and conquer.

    Babylon 5 does have its own 'defence grid' of mounted guns that can be brought into view when required, as well as three wings of the excellent (and most maneuverable craft ever devised) Starfuries launched centrigually – literally 'dropped' – from the so-called cobra bays (because they look like cobra snakes in shape) at the front of the station.

    Thus it is not without armament, though it is intended to be primarily defensive, such as intercepting incoming fire rather than (by and large) shooting at other space vehicles.

    You and your readers can watch the defence grid and starfuries in action in this excerpt from the award-winning episode Severed Dreams, which is quite educational in how space battles would actually operate...

    1. Yes, I should have been more clear about offensive/defensive firepower ;-)

      I remember watching the defence grid being activated for the first time and getting excited - that and the battle that saw the end of the Earth cruiser Rowanoak!

      Although the Deathstar was, according to the Imperial information bureau, not a weapon but a mining tool for breaking up dead planets or asteroids! Though Tarkin would argue that she was designed to fire a handful of times to demonstrate power/fear before being retired.

    2. Ah, the Roanoke, rammed by the Churchill...

      The thing about B5 is that, although it didn't get everything right, it was based on real physics and had no Trek-like wheezes or technologies like force-shields, so it always felt more realistic than most other SF productions.

      This was especially true of (most of) the battle scenes, especially during Severed Dreams.

  3. That should have been 'centrifugally' up there(!)