Time to Global MegaDeath Capacity: RE: Hey... What did I miss? | Should we build a death star?
Enjoyed your highly amusing letter, but I doubt that the Emperor of the Galaxy would appoint the students from Lehigh University as policy advisors.
Lets accept their estimate that the steel cost is ~13,000 times the current GDP of Earth, since I haven't checked that yet, but put their cost estimate in context.
 World GDP is growing at a rate of ~4% pa real, if we look over a 10 year time frame. How long before World GDP would allow us to pay for a Death Star in a single year?
The table below (Table-1) calculates the time before the natural growth rate of the global economy was sufficient to permit this for a single Earth economy.
That would be less than 250 years from today. However, the Galactic Empire spreads over a vast number of worlds.
Examination of the Galactic Senate indicates that this encompasses many more than 100 worlds, perhaps even more than a 1,000 worlds.
It hardly matters, because this is an exponential process. Less than a century in the future, a future Emperor of Earth could build such a facility with about one year's imperial earnings.
A more benevolent or less ambitious Dictator might stretch the construction phase out over, say a decade. Thus we only need total imperial GDP to grow to 1,300x today's Earth GDP.
With an Empire of a 1,000 worlds, the Emperor could pay for the Death Star - spread over a 10 year construction period - with the global GDP equivalent to what will be achieved in
Seven Years Time! You don't believe me? Check for yourself.
Economic Capacity to Construct Death Star over 10 Year Period: (10 Years) * (1,000 Worlds) * (World Growth over 7 Years)
Economic Capacity to Construct Death Star over 10 Year Period: 10 * 1,000 * 1.04^7 = 10,000 * 1.32 = 13,200.
In other words, the planning horizon for a Death Star Facility is substantially less for the future Emperor, than the construction of his own pyramid was for Pharaoh Ramses II.
Table-1 Time to Global Mega-Death Capacity
|GDP Growth Rate (%)||1.04||1.04||1.04|
|Death* Cost Multiple||13,000||13,000||13,000|
I draw two conclusions from this simplistic calculation.
[A] The Death Star is so obviously feasible financially, that any Galactic Dictator, worth his salt, would commission more than one and he will.
[B] The students of Lehigh University would not have gained entrance to my University, never mind graduated. Standards are dropping fast in America.
 A more immediate concern for the Emperor may be the supply of materiel for this weapon system. So far I have only considered the steel component.
Fortunately the Asteroid Belt, between Mars & Jupiter is available for ‘quarrying'. The mass of the asteroids is ~4% of the mass of Earth's Moon.
The composition of the asteroids in the Belt is about 10% iron.
So the fundamental question is whether we can really construct a Death Star from ironic raw materials with mass ~1/250th that of the Moon. I fear not.
We may have to move construction to another more convenient solar system elsewhere in the Empire. There will be one; we must search.
Alternatively, I am prepared to accept a short consulting contract from the Galactic Corps of Engineers to consider Martian excavation.
May the Dark Side of the Force be with you.