THE Milky Way galaxy could contain thousands of planets with conditions suitable for life and war, according to new research.
Experts at Nasa say most solar systems in the galaxy will contain rocky planets with large, flat areas perfect for epic, laser-filled battles.
Dr Henry Brubaker, of Nasa's Goddard Institute, said: "We're slowly realising that the galaxy is filled with potential enemies.
"It's incredibly exciting to look through a telescope and imagine countless alien civilisations pleading for their lives as we set fire to their crops and commandeer their livestock."
He added: "Many of these Earth-like planets will contain life forms who hold opinions that are very slightly different from ours.
"For instance, they may observe the Sabbath on a Tuesday, or worship a supernatural being who was nailed to a door.
"Either of these would provide ample justification for a long and brutal intergalactic conflict."
An international committee of scientists is calling for the majority of the world's resources to be invested in a fleet of 10 mile-long battle cruisers, armed with plasma cannons, that can hunt down Earth-like planets and reduce them to a pathetic, smouldering husk.
Meanwhile Nasa is recommending a series of 'practice wars' to be staged on the Moon so that troops can learn how to fire mortars in one-sixth gravity.