The price of omnipotence: How much is the Death Star

"Death Star" - a combat space station equipped with weapons of extreme destructive power, capable of dusting entire planets

Apparently, Emperor Palpatine did not stint on creating his flagship - all the more understandable was his anger when the rebels “Death Star” destroyed: so much money flew into the tube!

One simple guy (or maybe not so simple) named Ryszard Gold sat on the television one evening and stumbled upon the broadcast of the 6th episode from the cult saga - Star Wars. The Return of the Jedi. " A very impressive scene was demonstrated in which a myriad of tiny, medium and large spaceships fly past the stronghold of Darth Vader, the flagship of the imperial space fleet - the Death Star.

The magnitude of this cyclopean station is hard to imagine. Over it towering battle towers, skyscrapers, its surface stretches far beyond the horizon ... Watching all this, the inquisitive guy thought: how much does this whole colossus cost? At least about? It would seem that even a rough estimate of the construction is impossible to give - however, our boy turned out to be quite capable.

Of course, in order to make an accurate estimate, you will need to take into account too many elements, most of which are simply inaccessible to modern technology. How much does an "energy weapon" cost? Which computers control the station and how many? Service robots? Power plant? How much did the construction work cost? And so on, and so on ... But if you (almost) escape from all fiction, then the calculation can be based on a simple assessment of two things: the cost of the materials needed to build the Death Star, as well as their delivery into orbit. At today's prices.

First, we assume that approximately 10% of the Death Star volume is the structural material of the premises, and 60% is in the air. We also assume that the main building material of the station is steel.

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The whole size of it has long been established by fans of Star Wars - it is 160 km in diameter. This gives a volume of 17.16 quadrillion m3. Accordingly, we definitely need 0.1 * 17.16 quadrillion m3 of steel - that is, 1.71 quadrillion m3 or 134 quadrillion tons. At average steel prices over the past year (in the midst of the crisis, the construction of the Death Star will obviously cost less), it will be $ 962 per tonne, which means that only the material of steel floors will require 12.95 quintillion dollars.

Now consider the delivery of this pile (imagine that the Earth is capable of producing enough iron to produce such quantities of steel) into orbit. An inquisitive kid, Rick Gold, found that today the average cost of putting 1 ton of cargo into space is $ 9 million. So let's add another 12.96 septillion dollars to our figure.

But we forgot one more important detail: the air, which accounts for 60% of the volume of the Death Star, and which also needs to be somehow delivered into the orbit ... The familiar atmosphere of the Earth’s atmosphere is mainly nitrogen (80%) and oxygen ( twenty%). This amounts to another 8.23 ​​quintillion m3 of nitrogen plus 1.65 quintillion m3 of oxygen. By the way, for this it will be necessary to use only 0.005% of all nitrogen from the atmosphere of our planet - and only 0.002% of oxygen.

They can be compressed very efficiently and eventually produce some 21.06 trillion m3 of nitrogen and 1.96 trillion m3 of oxygen. Such an amount of nitrogen will weigh 17.03 trillion tons, and oxygen - 2.24 trillion tons. Delivery? Of course: we add 2.81 septillion and 212.46 quintillion dollars to our account.

Thus, we have sketched a rough budget. It will be absolutely $ 15602022489829821422840226 dollars and 94 cents.

Emperor Palpatine is apparently rich, because today the entire world economy is estimated at about $ 14 trillion! Compared with this figure, the cost of the war in Iraq, which, according to experts, costs the US budget $ 343 million daily, is utter nonsense. For this money, it would have been possible to wage war in Iraq for 124 trillion years - that is, many orders of magnitude more than the entire time the universe existed.

Another fact is interesting, calculated by the tireless Rick Gold. To accommodate the sum of 15 septillion dollars, you will need far from one "Death Star", but as many as 10.3! Apparently, in the era of the stellar Empire, calculations will finally become electronic ...

By the way, these estimates are very reminiscent of another similar cost calculation - the truth, done by professional scientists and robotics from Japan, who estimated how much it would cost to create a real robot transformer. Read: "Expensive toy."

I wonder how a nuclear reactor works and can robots build a house?

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