The hyperdrive is a device that propels objects into hyperspace (see Hyperspace), allowing them to travel faster than light, which is a necessesity for interstellar travel.
(from the Galactic Encyclopedia)

The Hyperdrive

The basic hyperdrive consists only of a Mass Complicator and tachyonic propulsion device. Although the propulsion device isn't strictly necessary, as objects in hyperspace can never be moving at speeds at or below the speed of light, it is always present to make sure they don't stray. The mass complicator turns all the matter of the object (and itself; it's a discrete field-effect) into complex matter, which has a complex mass. Particles with positive non-zero mass can only move at speeds below the speed of light, and particles with zero mass always moves precisely at the speed of light. Particles with complex mass can however only move faster than the speed of light. It is not the purpose of this article to explain this in too technical terms, and interested readers are encouraged to seek higher education in the field of tachyonics.

Objects in hyperspace interacts both gravitationally, electromagnetically and otherwise with objects in normal space. Colliding with celestial bodies while in hyperspace could be very bad, and passing near large gravity wells could redirect the object into unexpected trajectories. Because of this, means for navigating hyperspace is usually needed (see Astro-Navigation).

Starship Hyperdrives

Hyperdrives aboard starships are quite complex and linked to many sub-systems, such as interial dampers, stasis fields, navicomputers. They are used to make the travel through hyperspace possible and safe for organic beings. Normal hyperdrives can go from one end of the galaxy to the other within weeks, reaching speeds that are millions of times faster than the speed of light. There are also highly specialised hyperdrives that can be used in intergalactic space. Such drives are extremely expensive and consumes enormous amounts of energy, but they can reach speeds that are more than a hundred times faster than normal hyperdrives.

Hyperspace gates

Hyperspace gates are devices that create a mass complication field and that sends a ship without hyperdrive towards another gate. They are dangerous when used for interstellar travel, because if the recieving gate should malfunction or be missed, any ship passing through would be lost in hyperspace (though a rescue operation could be possible). However, they are sometimes used as a more energy-efficient way to send already hyperdrive-equipped ships into hyperspace. These ships can exit hyperspace at any point should something go wrong. Hyperspace gates may also be placed on planets to send things quickly into orbit.

Last modified 2006-09-24 20:29:29

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