For Star Wars to work, we have to lift much of its immense hardware into space. . . . So far in our experience with lifting materials into space, we have succeeded in our biggest year in pushing less than a million pounds into space.
How does the problem of lifting Star Wars into orbit compare with this past experience? The weight for Star Wars, taking the SDI baseline, would be about 57 million pounds. It could go as high as 200 million pounds. . . . The weight could increase beyond that if we succeed in developing Star Wars weapons that we can harden or equip to shoot back at attackers, or make more maneuverable to evade hostile fire.
What does it cost to lift a pound of material into space? Answer: from $1,500 to $3,000. . . . So the cost to put the baseline Star Wars system into space will go between $85 billion and $170 billion at present prices. Keep in mind, this includes nothing for the cost of producing this complicated and expensive equipment such as battle stations and satellites. These tens of billions of dollars are strictly for simply lifting the equipment. That is all. Also, I have not included the cost of maintaining the equipment once we deploy it. And I have said nothing about the cost of modernizing the equipment as the offensive technology moves along. Just plain old simple lifting of the full top-of- the-line Star Wars model will cost hundreds of billions of dollars. . . .
In peace or war, military procurement has never been efficient. It has never been truly competitive. It has consistently had one sure and predictable element: the cost rises. It soars. Why should this vast effort to lift the most complex equipment the world has ever seen be any different?