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The White House does not support blowing up planets

Friday - 1/11/2013, 10:23pm  ET

Petition.jpg

Rachel Nania, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - On Jan. 11, the White House responded to a petition posted on its website in regards to securing funds to construct a Death Star.

The official letter, titled "This is not the Petition Response You're Looking For," highlights three key reasons why it is not feasible for the federal government to fund a Death Star.

First, the response from petitions.whitehouse.gov says that construction of a Death Star is estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000, a number cited from a student-run economics blog at Lehigh University.

"We're working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it," says Paul Shawcross, the letter's author and chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Second, the letter states that the Administration does not support blowing up planets. Rather, the country prefers to explore them.

"We are discovering hundreds of new planets in other star systems and building a much more powerful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope that will see back to the early days of the universe," Shawcross says in the letter.

For his third point, Shawcross flexes his "Star Wars" knowledge.

"Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?" he asks.

The letter also states that the U.S. already has something large floating in the sky - the International Space Station - and that is enough.

The original petition to build a Death Star was created on Nov. 14, 2012 and received 34,435 signatures.

The petition argued that funneling defense resources into a "space- superiority platform and weapon system" could increase domestic jobs in construction, space exploration and engineering.

Shawcross, instead, encourages the author to pursue a career in a science or technology-related field and contribute to the future of space.

"The Force will be with us," he says. "Remember, the Death Star's power to destroy a planet, or even a whole star system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force."

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(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)