I have to admit that I’m a little hesitant to write about Star Wars because, quite frankly, my level of knowledge on the subject is really not up to par. That said, sometimes I can’t resist…if nothing else, these kids have a bright future in consulting:
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 looking 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.
This is from an economics blog run by students at Lehigh University (and thanks to reader Trent for bringing it to my attention!). If nothing else, I suppose this project would give all those abandoned steel mills in Ohio and Pennsylvania something to do and, if people were actually willing to pay for this thing, would increase the world’s GDP by, oh, I don’t know, about 1,299,900 percent due to steel production alone.
The comments in the article are pretty fantastic as well, but I suppose that’s what’s to be expected when numbers people and Star Wars facts come together. Personally, I’m going to go back to watching Moneyball- I had to take a break because I’m really trying to behave and not ask my roommate to pause every time a bunch of numbers come on the screen.