It’s not new to readers here, but my own cost estimate has been republished at IO9.
Regarding steel: isn’t Centaur made of stainless steel?
Didn’t you (or someone else) already ask that, and Rand answered that it is, but they had to make it so thin they had to pressurize the tanks?
Wasn’t me, but I knew it was a balloon tank.
I’ve been reading John Ringo’s “Live free or Die” SciFi series. He comes up with a fairly lively story about how and why we would want to build one. (use solar mirrors to “inflate” a NiFe astroid) He also talks about how to make steel in space. At first glance he looks like he has done his homework. I Highly recommend the book.
The real problem is energy. Old fashioned anti-matter just wouldn’t be enough for it’s warp drive or it’s jump drive (which is only suitable for midsized ships… how they every squeezed one into a Falcon I’ll never know. Then again, the empire did have jump drives on probes???)
Does the empire have access to zero-point energy? How many spies will die to find out? Can anything be learned from the force. Why is there a warning on this package of these roomis egloomus mushrooms?
Of course we could just use the Hillary logic and when someone asks, “How much does that Deathstar cost?”, you can just say, “What difference does it make?”.
Technology in the Star Wars universe is apparently powered by “hypermatter”, the nature of which is kept deliberately mysterious in the interests of good storytelling. From what I’ve been able to gather (and I’m far from any kind of expert on this), hypermatter is a form of matter that corresponds to matter in a way similar to the correspondence between space and hyperspace. That is, hypermatter is a form of matter that exists external to but in correspondence with real matter. Just as hyperspace is “larger” than normal space by some immense factor of dimension, hypernmatter is “denser” than the densest normal matter by a similarly large multiplier — say 1:1,000,000. By annihilating one ton of this hyper-dense matter somehow, the hypermatter reactors used in the various ships and so forth are capable of releasing one million times more energy than would be released in the annihilation of one ton of mere matter.
Or something like that.
The thing is, for the magic tech in Star Wars to be even remotely plausible, you’d pretty much have to have hypermatter or something like it. The energy needed to jump a 100-km battle station across a galaxy in an hour, and then blow a planet apart at its escape velocity speed, would compare to the energy potential of mere antimatter/matter reactions as am H-bomb compares to a kitchen match.
I used to roll my eyes at this kind of sci-fi “science”. Then that Alcubierre warp drive paper came out, and damned if Star Trek wasn’t on to something after all. Now, I just relax and enjoy it all. Anything’s possible, and SF (or even space opera) can point the way.
PS – The reason the X-wings and TIE fighters can turn and bank in space is because they are “flying” by means of reactionless gravity-based motors, not impulse engines of any kind. QED
Well, the real problem with any such analysis is the near collapse of the US dollar relative to Galactic Credits, but that subject would need a thread of its own.
It would be totally worth the cost to annihilate both the Ewoks and the Gungans.
Whatever you do, don’t award the contract to Lockheed (Overruns-R-Us) Martin.
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