Barack Obama's deluded decision to deny a petition asking the USA to build a Death Star has been challenged by the wisdom of the crowd, in the form of a Kickstarter project seeking £543 quadrillion ($US850qn) to design and build the planet-destroying artificial moonlet.
$US850qn is the price tag for a Death Star mentioned in the White House's rejection of the petition.
But in a nod to one of the US government's reasons for not building the spacecraft – it's colossal and austerity-denying cost- the project pledges “To keep costs lower the entire project will use open source hardware and software.”
The project also offers the following concept design for the open source space station:
The initial design for an open source Death Star
The 'designers' insist it is 'not for kids'
Despite all that silliness, at the time of writing, the project had attracted 177 pledges totalling £14,083.
If the full £20m is pledged by the time the project's funding period closes, appropriately on April 1st, the founder of the project says it will be spent on “more detailed plans and enough chicken wire to protect reactor exhaust ports.” If the stretch goal is reached, the Death Star will be built by December 2015.
That completion date is offered in the awards for funders. Those who pledge more than ten pounds will receive “your name etched onto the underneath of one of the MSE-6-series repair droids used on the finished station” and is promised for delivery in December 2015. Those who pledge lesser amounts will receive only “Our thanks and the knowledge that we're one step towards a safer planet.”
The project's Kickstarter page says Leicstershire-based gnut.co.uk is responsible for the project. That domain resolves to the Kickstarter page, but a whois lookup fingers a "UK individual" named Nick Petkovich as the domain's owner and says it was registered on January 24th.
The Kickstarter page says the only risk preventing the project from flying is "the power of the Force" but adds its main challenge is "assuring Kickstarter that this is a joke and not a serious project. As proof, the goal has been set high enough to make successful funding almost impossible."
Given the colossal number of signatures the petition that kicked this all off attracted, The Reg finds that lack of faith disturbing. ®