If you had $15.6 septillion and 94 cents in your account, would you save the world from the economic crisis or build a Death Star, destroy the world, and move on to invade the galaxy?
A guy called Ryszard Gold-who probably is an alien villain from the Outer Rim planets and got a 49-point score in our Geek Social Aptitude Test-made the calculation of the most basic Death Star's price with current materials and space transport costs here on Earth. Here's a quick summary:
• First, assume that 1/10 of the 17.16 quadrillion cubic meters of the Death Star is something other than empty space and 6/10 of the total volume is pressurized space.
• That will require 1.71 quadrillion cubic meters of steel, about 134 quadrillion tonnes. That's $12.95 quintillion in current 2008 prices, and that's without counting strange alloys and elements.
• Shipping that to space will cost $95 million per tonne: So add $12.79 septillion in transport.
• Now you need to add air, which will require 8.23 quintillion cubic meters of Nitrogen, and 1.65 quintillion cubic meters of oxygen, for a total delivery cost of $2.81 septillions and $212.46 quintillion.
The total: $15,602,022,489,829,821,422,840,226.94.
Yes, that's a whooping 1.4 trillion times the current US Debt. Or a sightly more meaningful number: 124 trillion years of war in Iraq.
That will only get you the very basic model of Death Star, no options, no GPS, no radio, no leather heated seats, no mega-laser to obliterate planets, no turbolaser towers, no computer systems, no miscellaneous life support systems, no crew quarters, no turbo-elevators, no energy generators, no showers, no air conditioning, no Darth Vader's jacuzzi, no Emperor's home theater system, and no bloody canteen. And don't get me started on the cost of all the lunch trays and the constant supply of penne all'arrabbiata and peas needed for all the Death Star personell*. That will probably double the final bill, coupled with the construction costs, for a total of more than $31 septillions.
As for the answer to the first question, there's no doubt about it. But then again, I always liked the Emperor's robe. He goes naked everywhere and nobody notices. [Rick Gold - Thanks Ron]