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NASA Engineer Says Asteroid Best Way to Build Death Star

The Death Star was a marvel of engineering, until it was destroyed by rebels (twice) in the Star Wars movies. According to NASA, however, Emperor Palpatine and pals would be wise to build their next one from an asteroid.

"If one wanted to build a Death Star, you didn't do it by launching a bunch of stuff off a planet," Brian Muirhead, chief engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told WIRED.

A model of the Death Star is displayed at the preview of the 'Star Wars Vision' exhibition in Tokyo on April 28, 2015.
Yoshikazu Tsuno | AFP | Getty Images
A model of the Death Star is displayed at the preview of the 'Star Wars Vision' exhibition in Tokyo on April 28, 2015.

"You went and got an asteroid and built it from that," he said in WIRED. "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."

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He pointed to NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission, which involves landing on an asteroid and pulling a chunk of it back to the moon's orbit. Around 2025, the plan is for another NASA team to fly near the moon to take samples of the asteroid for research purposes.

Muirhead isn't the only smart person to give this much thought to the Death Star. Earlier this month, a fiscal engineering professor published a paper that theorized that destroying the fully armed and operational battle station would cause "an economic depression of astronomical proportions" throughout the Empire.