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Forget about the Mars rover -- how about we build a Death Star?

A petition posted to the White House's We The People platform advocates construction of the universe's ultimate weapon as a way to boost the economy.

The real Death Star must have really been murder on the Empire's wallet. This model hanging in the Los Angeles Convention Center for Celebration IV was probably cheaper.
Daniel Terdiman/CNET

In the off-chance that amid their deep-space explorations, the Voyager spacecrafts encounter an Alderaan-like planet that the U.S. government deems ripe for destruction, a petition has been created that advocates the construction of a Death Star.

With the U.S. approaching the "fiscal cliff," backers suggest that creation of the universe's ultimate weapon might give the economy a much-needed boost, according to the petition hosted on the White House's We The People platform. The petition reads, in part:

By focusing our defense resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defense.

The petition offers no estimates on how much the project will cost or how long it will take to construct a moon-size military battlestation armed with a planet-destroying superlaser, but the backers hope to begin construction by 2016. (A study earlier this year by economics students at Lehigh University estimated that construction would require more than a quadrillion tons of steel, which would take roughly 800,000 years to manufacture.)

But backers are going to need more than The Force to get this one off the ground. The petition, which was launched November 14, has 10 days left to achieve its goal of attracting 25,000 signatures; as of this writing, it has a little more than 2,500 signatures, only about 10 percent of its target.

Also, they will have to persuade the emperor -- err, the president -- that there is a planet out there somewhere in need of destruction. Come to think of it, maybe it's time to ramp up funding for SETI efforts as well.

(Via Mashable)