The Death Star, the nefarious cosmic entity that is the center of the evil Galactic Empire’s reign in Star Wars, has always been thought to be solely a facet of science fiction. But with the approach of the newest film in the monstrously successful franchise, The Force Awakens, a chief engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has offered up the idea that one could technically be built in real life - on an asteroid.
In a video released on 10 December on Wired, Brian Muirhead, the lab’s chief engineer, says the Empire took a roundabout route in building its self-proclaimed “ultimate weapon.” It needn’t have shot materials out of a planet and constructed the megastar in space, he says. Instead, it could have just used a pre-existing asteroid.
"It could provide the metals. You have organic compounds, you have water - all the building blocks you would need to build your family Death Star," he says in the video.
Muirhead should know, as his latest venture is NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission, which is attempting to have a robot land on an asteroid in 2023 and gather a boulder from the surface. The boulder is then to be placed in an orbit around the moon, where it will then be tested. May the force be with them.
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