Hyperspace (science fiction)

Hyperspace (science fiction)

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Hyperspace is a plot device
Plot device
A plot device is an object or character in a story whose sole purpose is to advance the plot of the story, or alternatively to overcome some difficulty in the plot....

 sometimes used in science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

. It is typically described as an alternative region of space co-existing with our own universe
Universe
The Universe is commonly defined as the totality of everything that exists, including all matter and energy, the planets, stars, galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space. Definitions and usage vary and similar terms include the cosmos, the world and nature...

 which may be entered using an energy field or other device. Travel in hyperspace is frequently depicted as faster-than-light
Faster-than-light
Faster-than-light communications and travel refer to the propagation of information or matter faster than the speed of light....

 travel in normal space.

Hyperspace is sometimes used to enable and explain faster than light (FTL) travel in science fiction stories where FTL is necessary for interstellar travel
Interstellar travel
Interstellar space travel is manned or unmanned travel between stars. The concept of interstellar travel in starships is a staple of science fiction. Interstellar travel is much more difficult than interplanetary travel. Intergalactic travel, or travel between different galaxies, is even more...

 or intergalactic travel
Intergalactic travel
Intergalactic travel is space travel between galaxies. Due to the relatively enormous distances between our own galaxy and even its closest neighbors, any such venture would be far more technologically demanding than even interstellar travel...

. Spacecraft
Spacecraft
A spacecraft or spaceship is a craft or machine designed for spaceflight. Spacecraft are used for a variety of purposes, including communications, earth observation, meteorology, navigation, planetary exploration and transportation of humans and cargo....

 able to use hyperspace for FTL travel are sometimes said to have a hyperdrive
Hyperdrive
Hyperdrive is a name given to certain methods of traveling faster-than-light in science fiction. Related concepts are jump drive and warp drive....

.

Detailed descriptions of the mechanisms of hyperspace travel are often provided in stories using the plot device, sometimes incorporating some actual physics
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

 such as relativity
Theory of relativity
The theory of relativity, or simply relativity, encompasses two theories of Albert Einstein: special relativity and general relativity. However, the word relativity is sometimes used in reference to Galilean invariance....

 or string theory
String theory
String theory is an active research framework in particle physics that attempts to reconcile quantum mechanics and general relativity. It is a contender for a theory of everything , a manner of describing the known fundamental forces and matter in a mathematically complete system...

 in order to create the illusion of a seemingly plausible explanation. Hyperspace travel is nevertheless a fictional technology.

Authors may develop alternative names for hyperspace in their works, such as the Immaterium (used in Warhammer 40,000
Imperium (Warhammer 40,000)
The Imperium of Man is a fictional galactic empire of over a million planets that contains the vast majority of humans in the forty-first millennium, set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe created by Games Workshop....

), Z space in Animorphs
Animorphs
Animorphs is an English language science fiction series of young adult books written by K. A. Applegate and published by Scholastic. Five humans, Jake, Marco, Cassie, Rachel, and Tobias, and one alien, Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill , obtain the ability to morph into any animal they touch. They name...

, or "Underspace" (U-space), commonly referred to in the works of Neal Asher
Neal Asher
Neal Asher is an English science fiction writer. Both his parents are educators and science fiction fans. Although he began writing Science Fiction and Fantasy in secondary school, Asher did not turn seriously to writing till he was 25...

.

Normal space


In normal 3-D space, the "shortest path" between two events A and B is found in the following way. First, look at all paths in 4-D space-time between A and B, and find the space-time path that takes the shortest time to traverse. Because of relativity, there is no such thing as universal time: so let the time be measured with respect to a clock whose motion matches the space-time path. Call this space-time path "P". Then the shortest path in space is simply the path in space traced by the space-time path P.

In strict mathematical terms, it may be impossible to define such a path, along which matter can travel. However, it usually is possible to find an infinite sequence of paths that converge uniformly to some limit, that is, some "limiting" path. Of course, under relativity, matter may not be able to travel along this limiting path, but light can travel along this path. In fact, the path of the light beam from A to B is the theoretical limit. No ship in normal space could follow the path of light in 4-D space time, but it can get arbitrarily close (until the energy required to go any faster exceeds the energy available).

This path (or limiting path) may not be unique: there may be many "shortest paths." Also, no path may exist; for example, suppose A lies in a black hole
Black hole
A black hole is a region of spacetime from which nothing, not even light, can escape. The theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass will deform spacetime to form a black hole. Around a black hole there is a mathematically defined surface called an event horizon that...

 and B lies outside the black hole—since nothing can exit a black hole, such a path would not exist. Finally, because of the general relativity
General relativity
General relativity or the general theory of relativity is the geometric theory of gravitation published by Albert Einstein in 1916. It is the current description of gravitation in modern physics...

, this path is not a "straight line" in the strict Euclidean sense, but is "curved." For example, if we aimed a rocket at the Moon traveling near the speed of light, the shortest path to the Moon is still a curved path. In fact, even if we aimed a photon of light at the Moon, it will follow a curved path, since gravity bends all things. The space along which the photon travels is, in fact, curved because gravity curves space itself. Just like traveling along the surface of water; if the surface of the water is swelled in a wave, then it would still be possible to travel in a straight line through the water (traveling underneath the wave,) but it would require more effort than just traveling along the curved surface of the water. It is still possible to travel in a straight line to the Moon, yet since the curved light beam is the best, the curved path close to this beam (following the path of the curved space) is better than the straight path. This is because the light beam is technically actually traveling in a straight line, relative to the curved space it is traveling in, but the space itself is curved, so it appears to an outside observer that the light beam is traveling in a curved line. Of course, if we take energy expenditures into account, then the minimum energy paths are just transfer orbits and gravity boosts that Earth space agencies predominantly use although these are not 'fast'.

Travel


Generally speaking, the idea of hyperspace relies on the existence of a separate and adjacent dimension. When activated, the hyper drive shunts the starship
Starship
A starship or interstellar spacecraft is a theoretical spacecraft designed for traveling between the stars, as opposed to a vehicle designed for orbital spaceflight or interplanetary travel....

 into this other dimension, where it can cover vast distances in an amount of time greatly reduced from the time it would take in "normal" space. Once it reaches the point in hyperspace that corresponds to its destination in real space, it re-emerges.

In other words, some (or all) paths in hyperspace may have a travel-time less than the time it takes to traverse the "shortest-path" in normal space, defined above. The time it takes to travel in hyperspace is measured in the same way time is measured in normal space, unless the hyperspace is discontinuous. For example, the path in hyperspace may not be smooth but a sequence of points, and the time change from jumping from one point to another may be abrupt. In this case, add the time jumps. Some may be positive (jumps to the future), and some negative (jumps to the past), depending on how the hyperspace is defined.

Explanations of why ships can travel faster than light in hyperspace vary; hyperspace may be smaller than real space and therefore a star ship's propulsion seems to be greatly multiplied, or else the speed of light in hyperspace is not a barrier as it is in real space. Whatever the reasoning, the general effect is that ships traveling in hyperspace seem to have broken the speed of light, appearing at their destinations much more quickly and without the shift in time that the Theory of Relativity
Theory of relativity
The theory of relativity, or simply relativity, encompasses two theories of Albert Einstein: special relativity and general relativity. However, the word relativity is sometimes used in reference to Galilean invariance....

 would suggest.

In much science fiction, hyper drive jumps require a considerable amount of planning and calculation, with any error carrying a threat of dire consequences. Therefore, jumps may cover a much shorter distance than would actually be possible so that the navigator can stop to "look around" -- take their bearings, plot their position, and plan the next jump. The time it takes to travel in hyperspace also varies. Travel may be instantaneous or may take hours, days, weeks or more. Some theories state that a route traveled for a long time may continuously stay open.

A different concept, sometimes also referred to as "hyperspace" and similarly used to explain FTL travel in fiction, is that the manifold of ordinary three-dimensional space is curved in four or more "higher" spacial dimensions (a "hyperspace" in the geometric sense; see hyper surface, tesseract
Tesseract
In geometry, the tesseract, also called an 8-cell or regular octachoron or cubic prism, is the four-dimensional analog of the cube. The tesseract is to the cube as the cube is to the square. Just as the surface of the cube consists of 6 square faces, the hypersurface of the tesseract consists of 8...

, Flatland
Flatland
Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions is an 1884 satirical novella by the English schoolmaster Edwin Abbott Abbott. Writing pseudonymously as "A Square", Abbott used the fictional two-dimensional world of Flatland to offer pointed observations on the social hierarchy of Victorian culture...

). This curvature causes certain widely separated points in three-dimensional space to nonetheless be "adjacent" to each other four-dimensionally. Creating an aperture in 4D space (a wormhole
Wormhole
In physics, a wormhole is a hypothetical topological feature of spacetime that would be, fundamentally, a "shortcut" through spacetime. For a simple visual explanation of a wormhole, consider spacetime visualized as a two-dimensional surface. If this surface is folded along a third dimension, it...

) between these locations can allow instantaneous transit between the two locations; a common comparison is that of a folded piece of paper, where a hole punched through two folded sections is more direct than a line drawn between them on the sheet. This idea probably arose out of certain popular descriptions of General Relativity
General relativity
General relativity or the general theory of relativity is the geometric theory of gravitation published by Albert Einstein in 1916. It is the current description of gravitation in modern physics...

 and/or Riemannian manifold
Riemannian manifold
In Riemannian geometry and the differential geometry of surfaces, a Riemannian manifold or Riemannian space is a real differentiable manifold M in which each tangent space is equipped with an inner product g, a Riemannian metric, which varies smoothly from point to point...

s, and may be the original form from which later concepts of hyperspace arose. This form often restricts FTL travel to specific "jump points".

A difficulty with interstellar travel through hyperspace is navigation. At small distances like the local solar neighbourhood, the astronomical background cartography will not have changed much and coordinates can be extrapolated. However, as the distance traveled increases, the background cartography changes more dramatically. If slower than light speed were used for travel through normal space, it would be easy to record the change in the cartography, but because the view of the cartography is hidden when in hyperspace, it is impossible to keep a record simply by visual reconciliation alone. Science fiction has a myriad of solutions to this problem.

Early depictions


Though the concept of hyperspace did not emerge until the 20th century, stories of an unseen realm outside of our normal world are part of earliest oral tradition
Oral tradition
Oral tradition and oral lore is cultural material and traditions transmitted orally from one generation to another. The messages or testimony are verbally transmitted in speech or song and may take the form, for example, of folktales, sayings, ballads, songs, or chants...

. Some stories, before the development of the science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 genre, feature space travel using a fictional existence outside of what humans normally observe. In "Somnium"
Somnium (Kepler)
Somnium is a fantasy written between 1620 and 1630, in Latin, by Johannes Kepler. In the narrative, a student of Tycho Brahe is transported to the Moon by occult forces. It presents a detailed imaginative description of how the earth might look when viewed from the moon, and is considered the...

 (published 1634), Johannes Kepler
Johannes Kepler
Johannes Kepler was a German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer. A key figure in the 17th century scientific revolution, he is best known for his eponymous laws of planetary motion, codified by later astronomers, based on his works Astronomia nova, Harmonices Mundi, and Epitome of Copernican...

 tells of travel to the moon with the help of demon
Demon
call - 1347 531 7769 for more infoIn Ancient Near Eastern religions as well as in the Abrahamic traditions, including ancient and medieval Christian demonology, a demon is considered an "unclean spirit" which may cause demonic possession, to be addressed with an act of exorcism...

s. From the 1930s through to the 1950s, many stories in the science fiction magazine
Science fiction magazine
A science fiction magazine is a publication that offers primarily science fiction, either in a hard copy periodical format or on the Internet....

s, Amazing Stories
Amazing Stories
Amazing Stories was an American science fiction magazine launched in April 1926 by Hugo Gernsback's Experimenter Publishing. It was the first magazine devoted solely to science fiction...

 and Astounding Science Fiction introduced readers to hyperspace as a fourth spatial dimension. John Campbell
John W. Campbell
John Wood Campbell, Jr. was an influential figure in American science fiction. As editor of Astounding Science Fiction , from late 1937 until his death, he is generally credited with shaping the so-called Golden Age of Science Fiction.Isaac Asimov called Campbell "the most powerful force in...

's "Islands of Space," which first appeared in Amazing Stories in 1931, features an early reference to hyperspace.

Writers of stories in magazines used the hyperspace concept in various ways. In The Mystery of Element 117 (1949) by Milton Smith, a window is opened into a new "hyperplane of hyperspace" containing those who have already died on earth. In Arthur C. Clarke
Arthur C. Clarke
Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, CBE, FRAS was a British science fiction author, inventor, and futurist, famous for his short stories and novels, among them 2001: A Space Odyssey, and as a host and commentator in the British television series Mysterious World. For many years, Robert A. Heinlein,...

's Technical Error (1950), a man is laterally reversed by a brief accidental encounter with "hyperspace".

Hyperspace travel became widespread in science fiction, because of the perceived limitations of FTL travel in ordinary space. In E.E. Smith's Gray Lensman
Gray Lensman
Gray Lensman is a science fiction novel by author E. E. Smith. It was first published in book form in 1951 by Fantasy Press in an edition of 5,096 copies. The novel was originally serialized in the magazine Astounding in 1939....

 (1939), a "5th order drive" allows travel to anywhere in the universe while hyperspace weapons are used to attack spaceships. In Nelson Bond's The Scientific Pioneer Returns (1940), the hyperspace concept is described. Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov was an American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. Asimov was one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000...

's Foundation series, first published between 1942 and 1944 in Astounding, featured a Galactic Empire
Galactic Empire (Asimov)
In Isaac Asimov's Robot/Empire/Foundation series of novels, the Galactic Empire is an empire consisting of millions of planets settled by humans across the whole Milky Way Galaxy. Its symbol is the Spaceship and Sun logo.-Author's creation of the empire:...

 traversed through hyperspace. Asimov's short story Little Lost Robot
Little Lost Robot
"Little Lost Robot" is a science fiction short story by Isaac Asimov. It was first published in the March 1947 issue of Astounding Science Fiction and reprinted in the collections I, Robot , The Complete Robot , Robot Dreams , and Robot Visions ."Little Lost Robot" was adapted by Leo Lehman for...

 (1947) features a "Hyperatomic Drive" shortened to "Hyperdrive" and observes that "fooling around with hyper-space isn't fun."

Popular depictions in science fiction


By the 1950s, hyperspace travel was established as a typical means for traveling. Many stories feature hyperspace as a dangerous place, and others require a ship to follow set hyperspatial "highways". Hyperspace is often described as being an unnavigable dimension where straying from a preset course can be disastrous.

In some science fiction, the danger of hyperspace travel is due to the chance that the route through hyperspace may take a ship too close to a celestial body with a large gravitational field, such as a star. In such scenarios, if a starship passes too close to a large gravitational field while in hyperspace, the ship is forcibly pulled out of hyperspace and reverts to normal space. Therefore, certain hyperspace "routes" may be mapped out that are safe, not passing too close to stars or other dangers.

Starships in hyperspace are sometimes depicted isolated from the normal universe; they cannot communicate with nor perceive things in real space until they emerge. Often there can be no interaction between two ships even when both are in hyperspace. This effect can be used as a plot device; because they are invisible to each other while in hyperspace, ships will encounter each other most often around contested planets or space stations. Hyperdrive may also allow for dramatic escapes as the pilot "jumps" to hyperspace in the midst of battle to avoid destruction.

In many stories, for various reasons, a starship cannot enter or leave hyperspace too close to a large concentration of mass, such as a planet or star
Star
A star is a massive, luminous sphere of plasma held together by gravity. At the end of its lifetime, a star can also contain a proportion of degenerate matter. The nearest star to Earth is the Sun, which is the source of most of the energy on Earth...

; this means that hyperspace can only be used after a starship gets to the outside edge of a solar system, so the starship must use other means of propulsion to get to and from planets. The reasons given for such restrictions are usually technobabble
Technobabble
Technobabble , also called technospeak, is a form of prose using jargon, buzzwords, esoteric language, specialized technical terms, or technical slang that is incomprehensible to the listener...

, but their existence is just a plot device
Plot device
A plot device is an object or character in a story whose sole purpose is to advance the plot of the story, or alternatively to overcome some difficulty in the plot....

 allowing for interstellar policies to actually form and exist. Science fiction author Larry Niven
Larry Niven
Laurence van Cott Niven / ˈlæri ˈnɪvən/ is an American science fiction author. His best-known work is Ringworld , which received Hugo, Locus, Ditmar, and Nebula awards. His work is primarily hard science fiction, using big science concepts and theoretical physics...

 published his opinions to that effect in N-Space
N-Space (short story collection)
N-Space is a collection of short stories by American science fiction author Larry Niven released in 1990. Some of the stories are set in Niven's Known Space universe. Also included are various essays, articles and anecdotes by Niven and others, excerpts from some of his novels, and an introduction...

. According to him, such an unrestricted technology would give no limits to what heroes and villains could do. In fact, every criminal would have the ability to destroy colonies, settlements and indeed whole worlds without any chance of stopping him.

Other writers have limited access to hyperspace by requiring a very large expenditure of energy in order to open a link (sometimes called a jump point) between hyperspace and normal space; this effectively limits access to hyperspace to very large starships, or to large stationary jump gates that can open jump points for smaller vessels. These restrictions are often plot device
Plot device
A plot device is an object or character in a story whose sole purpose is to advance the plot of the story, or alternatively to overcome some difficulty in the plot....

s to prevent starships from easily escaping by slipping into hyperspace, thus ensuring epic space battles.
Hyperspace is often depicted as blue, pulsing with Cherenkov radiation
Cherenkov radiation
Cherenkov radiation is electromagnetic radiation emitted when a charged particle passes through a dielectric medium at a speed greater than the phase velocity of light in that medium...

. An example of this is the "jump" technology as seen in Babylon 5. In addition, a jumppoint into hyperspace is seen as yellowish in color because of the redshift effect, and jumppoints leading out of hyperspace are seen as blue. Only large starships and jumpgates can create jumppoints, as well as the Vorlon-enhanced Whitestar ship. Detailed depictions are listed below.

Asimovian Hyperspace


The concept of traveling between stellar systems via the hyperspace drive or "jump" is described or mentioned in several of Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov was an American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. Asimov was one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000...

's short stories and novels written from the 1940s through to the 1990s. Hyperspace seems to enable teleportation on a pre-calculated route, the ends of which are in normal space
Space
Space is the boundless, three-dimensional extent in which objects and events occur and have relative position and direction. Physical space is often conceived in three linear dimensions, although modern physicists usually consider it, with time, to be part of a boundless four-dimensional continuum...

. Although the timeline is not consistent, it appears to start with the development of a hyperdrive from a theoretical construct by The Brain, a positronic supercomputer
Supercomputer
A supercomputer is a computer at the frontline of current processing capacity, particularly speed of calculation.Supercomputers are used for highly calculation-intensive tasks such as problems including quantum physics, weather forecasting, climate research, molecular modeling A supercomputer is a...

 built by US Robots. Interplanetary travel has already been developed, and in 2002, when US Robots demonstrates its first primitive positronic robot, it is intended to be used for mining operations on the planet Mercury
Mercury (planet)
Mercury is the innermost and smallest planet in the Solar System, orbiting the Sun once every 87.969 Earth days. The orbit of Mercury has the highest eccentricity of all the Solar System planets, and it has the smallest axial tilt. It completes three rotations about its axis for every two orbits...

.

Simultaneously, the theories of the spacewarp are developed by a research project under military control, with the assistance of positronic robots, until the first hypership is built at Hyper Base on an asteroid
Asteroid
Asteroids are a class of small Solar System bodies in orbit around the Sun. They have also been called planetoids, especially the larger ones...

. Once perfected however, the drive is little used, as it is fearfully costly in energy use and still very risky. But once the existence of habitable planets around the nearer stars to Earth is established (also with robot help), the drive is further developed, and over centuries colonies are established on these planets.

The collection of more and more data on stellar systems and the analysis of stellar spectra allows the compilation of what becomes the Standard Galactic Ephemeris
Ephemeris
An ephemeris is a table of values that gives the positions of astronomical objects in the sky at a given time or times. Different kinds of ephemerides are used for astronomy and astrology...

, with which hyperspace navigation (see The Stars, Like Dust
The Stars, Like Dust
The Stars, Like Dust is a 1951 science fiction book by writer Isaac Asimov.The book is part of Asimov's Galactic Empire series. It takes place before the actual founding of the Galactic Empire, and even before Trantor has become important. It starts with a young man attending the University of...

) becomes less of an art and more of a science. It still requires complex calculations; not until the fall of the Galactic empire and expansion of the Foundation
The Foundation Series
The Foundation Series is a science fiction series by Isaac Asimov. There are seven volumes in the Foundation Series proper, which in its in-universe chronological order are: Prelude to Foundation, Forward the Foundation, Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation, Foundation's Edge, and...

 thousands of years after the first drives were developed would a ship be developed (as in Foundation's Edge
Foundation's Edge
Foundation's Edge is a science fiction novel by Isaac Asimov, the fourth book in the Foundation Series. It was written more than thirty years after the stories of the original Foundation trilogy, due to years of pressure by fans and editors on Asimov to write another, and, according to Asimov...

) that allows the total computerization of the calculation of single or multiple hyperspace jumps and the control of the jump without human intervention. Initially there was no description of the hyperspace environment (see below). In all of Asimov's writings, where hyperspace travel is described from the viewpoint of the character to the reader, the instant of hyperspace transit is described as a feeling of momentary "insideoutness".

Hyperspace is defined (in Foundation's Edge) as a condition rather than a location. In Hyperspace, all velocity is zero. Relative to the Einsteinian metrical frame, however, speed is infinite. For navigational purposes, the Galaxy is imagined as being real (G) and imaginary (G0). Perturbations such as those experienced by ship in space from the gravitational field around an object such as a planet or even a star are exacerbated in hyperspatial travel, since mass in real space distorts hyperspace in an equal measure. 'Jumping' near to a gravitational mass is likely to make the resulting exit from hyperspace to be highly uncertain, with the level of improbability decreasing as the inverse square of the distance to the nearest gravitational 'well'.

As a condition, hyperspace translates objects as a phased tachyon
Tachyon
A tachyon is a hypothetical subatomic particle that always moves faster than light. In the language of special relativity, a tachyon would be a particle with space-like four-momentum and imaginary proper time. A tachyon would be constrained to the space-like portion of the energy-momentum graph...

 wave, which once collapsed restores the objects to their meson
Meson
In particle physics, mesons are subatomic particles composed of one quark and one antiquark, bound together by the strong interaction. Because mesons are composed of sub-particles, they have a physical size, with a radius roughly one femtometer: 10−15 m, which is about the size of a proton...

 composition instantaneously. This is supposed to happen with a minimum of energy expenditure. While it is necessary for a ship to have nuclear engine to produce the hyperspace drive field to hurl a vessel through hyperspace, nearly all of the energy expended is recovered as the hyper field collapses. Also, there is no Cherenkov radiation flash associated with re-entry from hyperspace. Asimov describes the re-entry in several stories as "The ship winked into existence...."

In Nemesis, Asimov further explores the concept of hyperspace. The space colony Rotor uses hyper-assistance to travel at speeds hovering around the speed of light
Speed of light
The speed of light in vacuum, usually denoted by c, is a physical constant important in many areas of physics. Its value is 299,792,458 metres per second, a figure that is exact since the length of the metre is defined from this constant and the international standard for time...

, transitioning in and out of hyperspace. Also in Nemesis, a group of explorers use a spacecraft
Spacecraft
A spacecraft or spaceship is a craft or machine designed for spaceflight. Spacecraft are used for a variety of purposes, including communications, earth observation, meteorology, navigation, planetary exploration and transportation of humans and cargo....

 named the Superluminal to travel faster than light to a nearby star system by means of moving into and out of hyperspace. During the voyage, the captain of the spacecraft discusses that during the transition into and out of hyperspace, for a fraction of a second, part of the vessel is in regular spacetime
Spacetime
In physics, spacetime is any mathematical model that combines space and time into a single continuum. Spacetime is usually interpreted with space as being three-dimensional and time playing the role of a fourth dimension that is of a different sort from the spatial dimensions...

 and the other part is in hyperspace, possibly, but rarely, resulting in grave danger. A scientist on the Superluminal determines that in hyperspace gravity acts as a repellent force rather than as an attractive one.

Babylon 5


In the American science fiction television series Babylon 5
Babylon 5
Babylon 5 is an American science fiction television series created, produced and largely written by J. Michael Straczynski. The show centers on a space station named Babylon 5: a focal point for politics, diplomacy, and conflict during the years 2257–2262...

 (1993–1998), hyperspace is treated as an alternative dimension where the distances between spatial bodies are significantly shorter. The primary energy expenditure in hyperspace travel is the act of "jumping" into hyperspace. While in hyperspace itself, ships use their normal propulsion systems and interstellar travel is enabled by the shortened distances. Ships must either use jumpgates, which are artificial constructs that create a rift into hyperspace, or they can use their own jump-engine. The latter is usually restricted to large vessels, as opening a rift requires a staggering amount of power. Jump gates are used by larger vessels whenever possible, to save energy.

Hyperspace in Babylon 5 is devoid of useful features, with no points of reference. Therefore, ships have to use the hyperspace beacon system—a network of transmitters located in known points in realspace (usually jumpgates) —in order to navigate. If a ship travels off the beacon network, it will become lost in hyperspace. Babylon 5 is slightly unusual in that ships in hyperspace require no energy fields to protect themselves, so an object (ship, device) that becomes lost in hyperspace can theoretically drift forever, and be rediscovered millennia later (this has been used as a plot point
Babylon 5: Thirdspace
Babylon 5: Thirdspace is a made-for-television film that is part of the Babylon 5 science fiction universe. It was written by J. Michael Straczynski and directed by Jesús Salvador Treviño....

). Hyperspace also has currents, which will pull a disabled ship off the beacon network in a relatively short period of time.

While the hyperspace background appears to the naked eye to be a reddish/black, stormy environment in the TV series, this is inconsistent with Babylon 5 science stated elsewhere. The Technomage Trilogy states that hyperspace should have no color or other visual aspects. According to the trilogy, it has yet to be determined why the naked eye sees anything at all in hyperspace.

A jump point allowing entry into hyperspace from normal space is characterized by a yellow-orange-red whirlpool, while jump points for ships emerging from hyperspace are characterized by a blue whirlpool. This is likely dependent on the design of the jump gate or jump engines, as Shadow
Shadow (Babylon 5)
The Shadows are a fictional alien species in the science fiction television series Babylon 5. Their homeworld is Z'ha'dum. In contrast to the Vorlons, whose philosophy is represented by the question "Who are you?", that of the Shadows is represented by the question "What do you want?", centering...

 vessels are seen entering and exiting hyperspace by appearing to simply fade away, and some of the other First Ones have other visual effects associated with hyperspace travel - assuming they use hyperspace at all.

Battles in hyperspace are infrequent and avoided; it appears that most such battles in history have ended disastrously for both sides.

In the Babylon 5 fictional history, Earth acquired hyperspace technology from the Centauri
Centauri (Babylon 5)
The Centauri are a humanoid species in the fictional universe of the Babylon 5 television series. They were the first alien species to make open contact with the human race. Their homeworld is Centauri Prime, a small Earth-like planet consisting of two large continents and several smaller islands...

 who allowed humans use of their pre-existing jump gates. Earth used these already established jumpgates to explore the galaxy, and presumably later researched the ability to build their own jumpgates. By the 23rd century
23rd century
The 23rd century is the century of the Christian Era or Common Era which, in the Gregorian calendar, begins on January 1, 2201 and ends on December 31, 2300.-List of the long total solar eclipses:* July 27, 2204: Solar eclipse, , of saros 139....

, larger Earth ships have the ability to create their own jump point without the use of a jump gate. No specific metric has ever been given to exact hyperspace distances in the Babylon 5 universe, and series creator Straczynski
J. Michael Straczynski
Joseph Michael Straczynski , known professionally as J. Michael Straczynski and informally as Joe Straczynski or JMS, is an American writer and television producer. He works in films, television series, novels, short stories, comic books, and radio dramas. He is a playwright, a former journalist,...

 has stated on at least one occasion that distances are not linear.

The Vorlons were able to take a piece of hyperspace and fold it onto itself like a pocket and use it as a hiding place (anything inside the pocket is apparently almost invisible to sensors and the naked eye).

In the spinoff series Crusade
Crusade (TV series)
Crusade is a spin-off TV show from J. Michael Straczynski's Babylon 5. Its plot is set in AD 2267, five years after the events of Babylon 5, and just after the movie A Call to Arms. A race called the Drakh have released a nanovirus plague on Earth, which will destroy all life on Earth within five...

, there is a scene where the crew of the Excalibur encounter several large jellyfish-like entities in hyperspace, resulting in one of the aliens attempting to mate with the ship. Constructs can also be established in hyperspace to serve as "hiding places" like in "The Well of Forever".

In Babylon 5: The Lost Tales – Voices in the Dark
Babylon 5: The Lost Tales
Babylon 5: The Lost Tales is an anthology show set in the Babylon 5 universe. It was announced by J. Michael Straczynski, creator of Babylon 5, at the San Diego Comic Con in July 2006...

 "quantum space" is introduced, which allows travel which is twice as fast, but causes disorientation when entering. It is leftover Vorlon technology.

Battlestar Galactica


The FTL, or "Faster Than Light", drive is a propulsion technology that allows spaceships to achieve superluminal travel. It functions along the basic principles of a jump drive, with a ship disappearing from its initial location and reappearing instantaneously in a new location.

In the Miniseries, some crewmembers are shown reacting with nausea and/or vertigo when undergoing a jump, though no harm appears to come to living beings even after many jumps. Making a jump eventually proves damaging to the ship's armor and structure in later episodes, after several years of continual combat and metal fatigue have taken their toll on the elderly ship. An FTL jump can be executed in the gravity well of a planet (indeed, Galactica jumps in and out of a planet's atmosphere in the episode "Exodus, Part II"). Nonetheless, it is preferred not to jump too close to a planet, not necessarily because of any physical limitations, but because if the coordinates are calculated wrong there is a risk that a ship might jump too close to the planet and crash into it, or reappear within the planet (This happens to a Raptor in the episode "Lay Down Your Burdens"). Further, a BSG FTL drive can theoretically travel anywhere in the galaxy; the limiting factor is not the drive itself, but the finite distance that the navigation computer is able to safely calculate a jump trajectory; more advanced computers are able to calculate longer range jumps (e.g. the Cylons have better computers and have an effective jump range at least three times that of the Colonials). The extreme distance that a safe jump can be plotted is called "the Red Line", and while a vessel might jump a theoretically infinite distance beyond that, it is possible the vessel could end up colliding with a star, asteroid, or other space debris.

Colony Wars/Red Sun


In the PlayStation game Colony Wars, Jump Gates are purple, whirlpool-like structures that allow the player's ship (and presumably larger craft) to be rapidly transported to other areas. Jump Gates are temporary, projected by unknown means, allow only one craft through, and collapse after use. It is possible to interrupt one of these jumps, forcing the spaceship in question to reenter normal space at a different location. When "jumping," the spacecraft is surrounded by a light that comes from all directions. This light shifts through the entire visible spectrum repeatedly.

Massive Warp Holes also appear in some missions; these look like black holes with a massive, white accretion disc swirling around the center. Warp Holes are long lasting, and may be permanent. They allow vast numbers of spacecraft through, as well as very large spacecraft that may be incapable of using a Jump Gate.

The Culture


In The Culture
The Culture
The Culture is a fictional interstellar anarchist, socialist, and utopian society created by the Scottish writer Iain M. Banks which features in a number of science fiction novels and works of short fiction by him, collectively called the Culture series....

 series by Iain M Banks, hyperspace is a four-dimensional (five dimensions including time) energy grid underlying the universe that separates it from its smaller antimatter twin. In the book Consider Phlebas
Consider Phlebas
Consider Phlebas, first published in 1987, is a space opera novel by Scottish writer Iain M. Banks. Written after a 1984 draft, it is the first to feature the Culture.-Overview:...

 it is described, as viewed from a ship, as a "vast and glittering ocean seen from a great height. The sun burning on a billion tiny wavelets." It is then described as having a smooth black blanket of cloud, suspended high above the ocean. The reader is then told to keep the sparkle of the sea despite the fact that there is no sun. The cloud is then described as having "many sharp and tiny lights, scattered on the base of the inky overcast like glinting eyes: some singular some in pairs, or in larger groups".

Ships travel through hyperspace by using traction with its irregularities (the "waves"). The sparkles on the ocean are the ships' source of power, while the sharp lights on the cloud are stars.
Black holes are described as resembling water spouts.

Ships are ordinarily unable to enter hyperspace whilst in a strong gravity well; although a Culture Mind, facing destruction during the Culture/Idiran war of Consider Phlebas, not only navigates a gravity well but also exits hyperspace within the confines of a subsurface tunnel network.

Dune


A somewhat unusual depiction of hyperspace travel is found in Frank Herbert
Frank Herbert
Franklin Patrick Herbert, Jr. was a critically acclaimed and commercially successful American science fiction author. Although a short story author, he is best known for his novels, most notably Dune and its five sequels...

's novel Dune
Dune (novel)
Dune is a science fiction novel written by Frank Herbert, published in 1965. It won the Hugo Award in 1966, and the inaugural Nebula Award for Best Novel...

 (1965). In the Dune milieu, space is "folded
Holtzman effect
The Holtzman effect is a fictional scientific phenomenon in the Dune universe created by Frank Herbert, beginning with the 1965 novel Dune...

" using a complicated distortion technology. Travel is nearly instantaneous but very dangerous because of the extremely complex calculations required, compounded by the fact that computers are forbidden by religious decree. There are no personal ships capable of hyperspace travel in the universe of Dune; the Spacing Guild
Spacing Guild
The Spacing Guild is an organization in Frank Herbert's science fiction Dune universe. With its monopoly on interstellar travel and banking, the Guild is a balance of power against the Padishah Emperor and the assembled noble Houses of the Landsraad...

 performs all hyperspace travel using their heighliners equipped with Holtzman drives. This monopoly gives the Guild great power.

The Guild's Navigator
Guild Navigator
A Guild Navigator is a fictional humanoid in the Dune universe created by Frank Herbert. Humans mutated through the consumption of and exposure to massive amounts of the spice melange, they are able to use a limited form of prescience to safely navigate interstellar space in a starship called a...

s megadose on the addictive substance melange, found only on the planet Arrakis
Arrakis
Arrakis  — informally known as Dune and later called Rakis — is a fictional desert planet featured in the Dune series of novels by Frank Herbert. Herbert's first novel in the series, 1965's Dune, is popularly considered one of the greatest science fiction novels of all time, and it is...

. Melange's unique properties enhance human prescience and allow the Navigators to find a safe path through space, although in such large amounts it also physically mutates the Navigators. The power granted to whoever in the universe controls Arrakis and its spice is an ongoing theme of the series.

How the spacetravel was done before the melange is explained in the 'Legends of Dune
Legends of Dune
Legends of Dune is a prequel trilogy of novels written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, set in Frank Herbert's Dune universe.* Dune: The Butlerian Jihad * Dune: The Machine Crusade * Dune: The Battle of Corrin...

' trilogy by Brian Herbert
Brian Herbert
Brian Patrick Herbert is an American author who lives in Washington state. He is the elder son of science fiction author Frank Herbert....

 and Kevin J. Anderson
Kevin J. Anderson
Kevin J. Anderson is an American science fiction author with over forty bestsellers. He has written spin-off novels for Star Wars, StarCraft, Titan A.E., and The X-Files, and with Brian Herbert is the co-author of the Dune prequels...

. The trilogy describes the time shortly before and during the discovery of space-folding. In these works the discovery of space-folding is attributed to Norma Cenva
Norma Cenva
Norma Cenva is a fictional character from the Dune universe created by Frank Herbert. Mentioned briefly in Herbert's God Emperor of Dune , she plays a large role in the Legends of Dune prequel trilogy written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson...

, who goes on to become the first prescient folded space navigator. Prior to this, although described in 'The Machine Crusade' as "outracing photons", vessels still took weeks or months to cross between even the closest stars.

(However, some say that this is more a Worm Hole Drive then a Hyperspace Drive.)

FreeSpace universe


FreeSpace universe is depicted in a series of space combat simulation computer games developed by Volition, Inc. It includes Descent: FreeSpace – The Great War and FreeSpace 2
FreeSpace 2
FreeSpace 2 is a 1999 space combat simulation computer game developed by Volition, Inc. as the sequel to Descent: FreeSpace – The Great War. It was completed ahead of schedule in less than a year, and released to great critical acclaim...

.

An alternative plane enabling FTL travel in the FreeSpace universe is called Subspace.
Two types of jumps are possible. First, an intrasystem jump can occur between two points in a star system. Most small, space-faring vessels are equipped with motivators capable of these short jumps. The presence of an intense gravitational field is required, prohibiting travel beyond the boundaries of a star system.
Second, ships can jump from system to system via naturally formed Subspace Nodes, connecting systems in a weblike node network. The vast majority of subspace nodes are extremely unstable, forming and dissipating in nanoseconds. Other nodes have a longer lifespan, existing for centuries or millennia before collapsing. The jump nodes sanctioned by the Galactic Terran-Vasudan Alliance for interstellar travel are expected to remain stable for many years. Intersystem jumps (through subspace) represent a very quick method of travel; journeys that would take years—or even centuries—at light speed are only a matter of hours or days when travelling via subspace, although it's not clear exactly how long they take.

Frontier universe


The Frontier universe of space trading/combat games Frontier: Elite II and First Encounters
First Encounters
Frontier: First Encounters is a computer video game for the IBM PC released on April 16, 1995. It is the sequel to Frontier: Elite II released in 1993, which itself is a sequel to the Elite series of games which debuted on the Acorn BBC Micro computer in 1984...

 depicts a rather classic type of hyperspace: traversing several light years through hyperspace jumps takes days or weeks, depending on the type of vessel and hyperdrive. For the player, this time passes instantaneously. The jumps consume fuel in direct proportion to the distance traveled and the (empty) mass of the vessel. The destination is always some distance away from large masses in the target star system
Star system
A star system or stellar system is a small number of stars which orbit each other, bound by gravitational attraction. A large number of stars bound by gravitation is generally called a star cluster or galaxy, although, broadly speaking, they are also star systems.-Binary star systems:A stellar...

—in systems of one medium-sized star (such as Sol
Sun
The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. It is almost perfectly spherical and consists of hot plasma interwoven with magnetic fields...

), typically around 10 astronomical unit
Astronomical unit
An astronomical unit is a unit of length equal to about or approximately the mean Earth–Sun distance....

s; more in systems with a large white star or multiple stars.

A hyperspace cloud is created in the entry and exit points. These can be analyzed by those wishing to intercept and destroy the jumping ship, as a faster ship can reach the destination sooner. Sometimes, more often with engines that have not been maintained properly, mis-jumps occur, which leave the player in interstellar space
Interstellar medium
In astronomy, the interstellar medium is the matter that exists in the space between the star systems in a galaxy. This matter includes gas in ionic, atomic, and molecular form, dust, and cosmic rays. It fills interstellar space and blends smoothly into the surrounding intergalactic space...

, where the ship will be forever stranded if sufficient fuel to reach a star system is not available (sub-light drive cannot be used to reach nearby stars, even if this were physically feasible).

Due to the danger of mutation
Mutation
In molecular biology and genetics, mutations are changes in a genomic sequence: the DNA sequence of a cell's genome or the DNA or RNA sequence of a virus. They can be defined as sudden and spontaneous changes in the cell. Mutations are caused by radiation, viruses, transposons and mutagenic...

s caused by the powerful engines, hyperspace jumps are impossible (due to built-in restrictions in the engines) near large populations (around 15 kilometers from an inhabited planet's surface or any large space station).

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy


Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a science fiction comedy series created by Douglas Adams. Originally a radio comedy broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1978, it was later adapted to other formats, and over several years it gradually became an international multi-media phenomenon...

 opens with the destruction of the planet Earth by Vogons in order to "make way for a hyperspace bypass". Hyperspace travel is not clearly described, however. The general impression is that a ship travels for a short time along a bypass through an alternative dimension and emerges at its destination. The sensation of hyperspace travel is described by Ford Prefect
Ford Prefect (character)
Ford Prefect is a fictional character in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by the British author Douglas Adams. He is the only character other than the protagonist, Arthur Dent, to appear throughout the entire Hitchhiker's saga.-Name:Although Ford had taken great care to blend into Earth...

 as "unpleasantly like being drunk." When Arthur Dent
Arthur Dent
Arthur Philip Dent is a fictional character, the hapless protagonist and anti-hero in the comic science fiction series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams....

 asks why that is so bad, Prefect answers, "You ask a glass of water." The experience is further described in the narrative as follows:

It is at one point stated that one of the reasons for the development of the Infinite Improbability Drive is to allow people to cross vast interstellar distances quickly "without all that tedious mucking about in hyperspace". This was fitted to the starship Heart of Gold.

In a sequel, ironically, it is stated that the development of the Bistromathic Drive is to allow people to cross vast interstellar distances quickly "without all that dangerous mucking about with Improbability Factors".

Homeworld series


In the Homeworld
Homeworld
Homeworld is a real-time strategy computer game released on September 28, 1999, developed by Relic Entertainment and published by Sierra Entertainment. It was the first fully three-dimensional RTS. In 2003, Relic released the source code for Homeworld...

 series, the first civilization known to possess hyperdrives were the Progenitors. Their ships were able to cross the galaxy in a matter of days with almost no external power. To aid younger species, they created Hyperspace Gates connected with artificial hyperspace rifts. These Gates' destination is fixed, meaning that each can only be traversed to one other, with the exception of the network of Gates known as the Eye of Aarran which can travel in every direction. Also, each travel through these Gates leaves behind a faint energy trail. If a certain path is used extensively for a long time, the energies cause a local space-time distortion, preventing individual ships from hyperspacing. To counter this, the ship in question can use conventional drives to leave the area (a frigate-sized vessel can get to enough distance in a matter of months) or try a very dangerous move: if the ship's own hyperdrive is synchronized with the rift, the resultant feedback will form a hyperspace gate stable enough to travel, yet unstable enough to collapse at any time. If a gate collapses when a ship is in hyperspace, it will be trapped in there and essentially cease to exist.

The three Hyperspace Cores are the central method of travelling in the Homeworld universe. Each can overpower a normal hyperdrive on its own. If they are combined and synchronised, they can easily bypass multiple black holes. Aside from being a method of transportation, these Cores also form the Sajuuk's power source, tapping quantum energy from hyperspace itself.

Hyperdrives work by opening a quantum waveform in front of a ship, seemingly engulfing it from front to end while pulling it into hyperspace. Once there, the transit can be sustained with less power. At the end of the transit, observers in real space can see the waveform appearing, depositing the ship in the same way, then the waveform closes and dissipates. They are mentioned in the Homeworld manual as a "solid state hyperspace induction module". Although frigate-class vessels possess their own hyperdrive, it is much shorter ranged and slower than the Cores. To facilitate travelling with the Mothership, its hyperspace-capable ships gathered in a pack around the gargantuan vessel. Utilizing a special technique, these drives resonate with the Core, causing them to "ride" its quantum waveform in order to travel with it.

The remaining Progenitor Keepers in the Karos Graveyard are equipped with a phase drive similar to a hyperdrive, only it uses less power and can only do short-distance tactical jumps. Additionally, hyperdrives are affected by gravity wells. If a ship wanders into one, the hyperdrive's energy consumption will increase proportionally to the well's power. In this way, artificial gravity wells can be used to force passing ships to exit hyperspace, damaging the drive in the process if they resist.

In Homeworld cataclysm it is suggested that there may exist biological lifeforms in the "hyperspace dimension".

Instrumentality of Mankind series


In the Instrumentality of Mankind
Instrumentality of Mankind
In the science fiction of Cordwainer Smith, the Instrumentality of Mankind refers both to Smith's personal future history and universe and to the central government of humanity...

 future history
Future history
A future history is a postulated history of the future and is used by authors in the subgenre of speculative fiction to construct a common background for fiction...

 series by Cordwainer Smith
Cordwainer Smith
Cordwainer Smith – pronounced CORDwainer – was the pseudonym used by American author Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger for his science fiction works. Linebarger was a noted East Asia scholar and expert in psychological warfare...

 (written in the 1950s and 1960s), FTL travel can be accomplished through a hyperspace known as Space2.

Space2


The invention and development of the Planoform drive was the turning point of the Interstellar Instrumentality of Mankind and its one direct competitor (though generally similar governmental form), The Bright Empire (which the Instrumentality eventually defeated).

From its name, and subsequent use, a number of different facts can be ascertained about the Planoform drive, and its operation.
  • As its name implies, the Planoform drive unit 'collapses' spacetime from its conventional 4-dimensional form into 3 dimensions. As time is considered a constant of experience, effectively space 'loses' a dimension.
  • The Planoform ship has two modes of operation: Go and Stop. The Stop Captain is responsible for turning the power on and off for the ship. The Go Captain navigates through Planoform space by interpreting the stellar patterns captured by sensors during a Planoform space-fold.
  • During the Space Fold, the view forward of the ship 'collapses' as Third Dimension of Space, Depth, is subtracted. The Go-Captain is thus able to direct the ship by picking (much as user picks a point on a computer screen with a mouse pointer) the course of the ship. In the manner of star charts, he uses what are known as Lock Sheets.
  • The Planoform clearly operates by meson-tachyon inversion. Ships that imperfectly Planoform are said to 'Go Milky' and disappear from loss of molecular cohesion.


Planoform devices are not very large; the Lord Crudelta uses 54 of them, operating in parallel, to lift a planoforming platform the size of Cape Canaveral Space Centre's Pad 34B during investigation of Space3. This implies a diameter of no more than about 50 cm.

Planoform ships can take any form. Initially ships were converted from standard interstellar ships of the enclosed hull type. Later, with the advent of Pinlighter controlled Cats (The Game of Rat and Dragon, see the chapter on History below), Planoform ships took on more fanciful forms. An example vessel at the Instrumentality's zenith of power, 4000 years before The Rediscovery of Man, was shaped like the countryside surrounding, and including the peak of, Mount Vernon. The passengers lived in houses on the ship, with an envelope of air held in place by gravitational force fields. The ship crew quarters and maintenance machinery were housed within the artificial peak.

Space3


The first transition of Space3 was by Artyr Rambo of Earth 4. He was driven by intense rage (a survival trait necessary for the experiment) by the Lord Crudelta. Transition across 68000 light years was instantaneous, and did not require any technology. Space3 is a further contraction of space from 3 co-ordinates into just 2. Thus all space is a point, and travel is merely a condition.

Planoform devices are necessary for a man to traverse Space3, operating in tandem as Space3 is entered. However, there are side-effects to moving through space in this way, which affect the traveler, dependent on the emotional charge necessary for transit. These include:
  • The Drunkboat Effect, named in reference to Rambo's description of the first transit. The traveler's nervous system is able to interface with electric and electronic circuitry directly, and effect changes through volition. This effect wears away with time.
  • Space Energy Re-radiation: in Transiting the space condition, powerful and strange energies are re-radiated from the traveler. These can have potent effects on materials, permitting a man of ordinary strength to warp and bend steel with hand-pressure alone. These are second-order effects of the Drunkboat effect.
  • Paralysis and pain were later counter-acted, but unprepared travelers would otherwise experience this if not suitably prepared pre-transit.

History of interstellar space


During the early eras of interstellar travel, crossing open space far from a star presented an incomprehensible danger: ordinary lifeforms, even protected within a hull environment, would die horribly for no apparent cause. Initially, this danger was met with the creation of the Habermen (humans, usually criminals, given cyborg
Cyborg
A cyborg is a being with both biological and artificial parts. The term was coined in 1960 when Manfred Clynes and Nathan S. Kline used it in an article about the advantages of self-regulating human-machine systems in outer space. D. S...

 modifications which removed their self-identity) and the Scanners (elite volunteers who underwent a modified form of the Haberman process and served as ship's officers), who could survive this unknown threat unharmed, at the cost of losing most of their senses other than sight. They would crew STL light sail ships, while the passengers were kept in suspended animation
Suspended animation
Suspended animation is the slowing of life processes by external means without termination. Breathing, heartbeat, and other involuntary functions may still occur, but they can only be detected by artificial means. Extreme cold can be used to precipitate the slowing of an individual's functions; use...

. Later it was determined that, if a large number of living organisms (clams, specifically) were used as a "living shield", organisms further inward could survive unharmed.

With the discovery of Space2 and the "planoform" drive, the cause of this mysterious threat was finally determined: living entities, sometimes referred to as "dragons", which existed in Space2 and fed on life energies. Since these creatures were disrupted and killed by bright physical light, they avoided the areas near stars. Thus, the practice of "pinlighting" developed: ships would be accompanied by smaller vessels piloted by genetically engineered telepathic housecats, who, guided by human telepaths aboard the ships, would attack the creatures (which they perceived as enormous rats) with miniature nuclear flares.

Aside from this, and the strange effects of the first attempts to travel through Space2 (and later, Space3), little is known about the planoform drive.

Known Space


In the Known Space
Known Space
Known Space is the fictional setting of some dozen science fiction novels and several collections of short stories written by author Larry Niven. It has also in part been used as a shared universe in the Man-Kzin Wars spin-off anthologies sub-series....

 series by Larry Niven
Larry Niven
Laurence van Cott Niven / ˈlæri ˈnɪvən/ is an American science fiction author. His best-known work is Ringworld , which received Hugo, Locus, Ditmar, and Nebula awards. His work is primarily hard science fiction, using big science concepts and theoretical physics...

, first introduced in "The Coldest Place" (1964), hyperspace is a dimension in which (apparently) all objects move at a rate of 0.3 light years per terrestrial day relative to light moving in the physical universe. Prevailing theories hold that attempting to engage a hyperspace shunt within the gravity well of a sufficiently large celestial body causes the drive (and possibly the ship) to careen wildly into an even "higher" level of hyperspace, which cannot be reached normally and is thought to cause matter within the hyperspace field to disintegrate (though Niven revised this in a later work, Ringworld's Children
Ringworld's Children
Ringworld's Children is a 2004 science fiction novel by Larry Niven, the fourth in the Ringworld series set in the Known Space universe. It describes the continuing adventures of Louis Wu and companions on Ringworld.-Plot summary:...

; according to the new model, other-dimensional entities which exist near large masses consume ships which enter hyperspace in their vicinity). Because of this, the only species known to have developed hyperspace on their own are the Outsiders
Outsider (Known Space)
The Outsiders are a fictional alien race in Larry Niven's Known Space series. They are many-limbed beings that are invariably described as a cat o'nine tails with a fattened handle...

, a species whose biology is based on superfluid
Superfluid
Superfluidity is a state of matter in which the matter behaves like a fluid without viscosity and with extremely high thermal conductivity. The substance, which appears to be a normal liquid, will flow without friction past any surface, which allows it to continue to circulate over obstructions and...

 helium
Helium
Helium is the chemical element with atomic number 2 and an atomic weight of 4.002602, which is represented by the symbol He. It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic, inert, monatomic gas that heads the noble gas group in the periodic table...

 and who thus were more readily able and inclined to perform experiments in interstellar space.

When travelling within hyperspace, attempting to view anything outside of the ship (through a porthole or, as in the short story "Flatlander", through a transparent hull) interacts with the human optic nerve such as to be perceived as a "blind spot"; this effect is extremely unnerving to most people, and prolonged viewing can lead to madness.

(In this connection in "Combing Back Through Time" by Mike Atkinson, a 2006 "hard-sf" novella, quite the opposite visual outcome – albeit a recording – is had by the 360 degree view that a front mounted camera has, from a probe within a described "interspace" employed in 4th. dimensional movement or time travel.)

Macross and Robotech


In the universe of Macross
Macross
is a series of science fiction mecha anime, directed by Shōji Kawamori of Studio Nue in 1982. The franchise features a fictional history of Earth/Humanity after the year 1999. It consists of three TV series, four movies, six OVAs, one light novel and five manga series, all sponsored by Big West...

 and Robotech
Robotech
Robotech is an 85-episode science fiction anime adaptation produced by Harmony Gold USA in association with Tatsunoko Production Co., Ltd. and first released in the United States in 1985...

, first introduced by the TV series Chou Jikuu Yousai Macross
The Super Dimension Fortress Macross
is an anime television series. According to story creator Shoji Kawamori, it depicts "a love triangle against the backdrop of great battles" during the first Human-alien war....

 (1982), hyperspace travel also involves the notion of space folding. Hyperspace folding involves a large hyperspace bubble around the vessel travelling through hyperspace. Everything within this bubble is transported along with the vessel itself to its destination. Thus when Captain Global/Gloval
Bruno J. Global
is the fictional captain of the SDF-1 Macross in the anime series The Super Dimension Fortress Macross. In the Macross TV Japanese series Captain Global is an Italian submarine skipper and UN Spacy officer who was involved in the refit of the crashed Alien Star Ship 1 into the SDF-1 Macross...

 is forced into making a hyperspace fold from close to the surface of the earth and fold into behind the moon, an entire island, its sea, and its inhabitants are caught in the hyperspace bubble and accidentally transported to near Pluto
Pluto
Pluto, formal designation 134340 Pluto, is the second-most-massive known dwarf planet in the Solar System and the tenth-most-massive body observed directly orbiting the Sun...

's orbit along with the SDF-1 Macross
SDF-1 Macross
The SDF-1 Macross is a fictional interstellar transforming spacecraft from The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, an anime science fiction series that aired in Japan in 1982–1983, and its American adaptation Robotech...

. Elsewhere in the series, space folds looks as if the ship turns into a beam of energy which disappears as the ship goes into spacefold. The same happened in the 1994 Macross 7
Macross 7
is an anime television series. It is a sequel to the show The Super Dimension Fortress Macross that takes place many years after the events of the first series following a cast of mostly new characters. The show ran from October 16, 1994 to September 24, 1995 at 11:00 AM, and 49 episodes were aired...

 TV series. In other entries in the Macross franchise, spacefolding seems to be a bit more conventional. For instance, in Macross Plus
Macross Plus
is a four-episode anime OVA and theatrical movie in the Macross series. It was the first sequel to the original Macross television series that took place in the official timeline...

, Isamu Dyson and Yang Neumann travel to Earth in a Variable fighter
Variable fighter
A Variable Fighter is a series of fictional transforming aerospace fighter mecha primarily designed by Studio Nue's Shoji Kawamori for the animated series The Super Dimension Fortress Macross and later related projects...

 modified with a space fold drive. There, the fold process seems to look like an iridescent tunnel which the ship flies through.

Sins of a Solar Empire


In the game Sins of a Solar Empire
Sins of a Solar Empire
Sins of a Solar Empire is a science fiction real-time strategy computer game developed by Ironclad Games and published by Stardock Entertainment for Microsoft Windows operating systems...

 the most popular way of achieving FTL is the Phase Drive, also called the Jump Drive. The drive's mechanism is undescribed, but what is known is that (1) the ship is enveloped in a cone of cobalt-blue light, (2) travels along a set highway, called a "Phase Lane", and (3) the ships travel through an alternative dimension called "Phase Space", but must be far enough away from a significant gravity well to enter. There are also defense stations called "Phase Inhibitors" which use nanomachines or spacetime distortion to stop the drive from working efficiently, thus preventing a timely retreat. The Vasari Empire can attach a phase drive to a missile, allowing it to pass through shields. These are unaffected by Phase inhibitors. There is also a Vasari Phase Stabilizer Node structure that allows ships to travel between nodes as if there were a Phase Lane connecting the systems; Vasari logisistical structures can also raise a Phase Barrier to reduce damage, Vasari scout ships can disable themselves but become invulnerable as for as long as their antimatter reserve lasts (when near a star, it's regenerated faster that it's spent), and their "fast battleship" can do that to any ship: itself, friend or foe, - for a brief duration.

Star Control II


In the computer game Star Control II
Star Control II
Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters is a critically acclaimed science fiction computer game, the second game in the Star Control trilogy. It was developed by Toys for Bob and originally published by Accolade in 1992 for PC; it was later ported to the 3DO with an enhanced multimedia presentation,...

, hyperspace is depicted as a different plane of existence, that provides the means of feasible interstellar travel. Entering Hyperspace requires propulsion be made to the edges of the solar system away from the star's mass. Inside of hyperspace these same stars are represented as gravity wells (or holes in the hyperspace), which suck the ship into normal space when entering it too close. Enemy vessels also generate gravity wells of a much smaller size, resulting in space faring civilizations being able to establish territory and patrol it even from ships in hyperspace.
The physical laws of hyperspace travel are slightly different than the travel in normal space: the ship travelling in hyperspace must continuously provide its own propulsion, or the vessel simply stops (in normal space, propulsion is only needed to change the course and newtonian physics means that once thrust is applied, it will continue in that direction). Hyperspace is represented as a red foggy area with strange artifacts seen moving and twinkling in the 'distance'.

Note that many of the same properties (though not the red colour) are reflected in Starflight
Starflight
Starflight is a computer game published by Electronic Arts and developed by Binary Systems in 1986. Originally developed for DOS and Tandy, it was later released for the Amiga, Atari ST, Macintosh and Commodore 64...

, a game which heavily influenced Star Control II.

Star Control II also has another plane of existence known as QuasiSpace. More difficult to access, the access points in quasispace lead into several different (predetermined) locations in the hyperspace. One interesting fact is that the ship does not consume any fuel at all while traveling inside QuasiSpace. Whereas hyperspace is depicted in redness, quasispace appears a harsh green with a negativity effect
Negative (photography)
In photography, a negative may refer to three different things, although they are all related.-A negative:Film for 35 mm cameras comes in long narrow strips of chemical-coated plastic or cellulose acetate. As each image is captured by the camera onto the film strip, the film strip advances so that...

 on objects. One alien race, the Arilou has a planet which can only be reached through Quasispace, while another alien race, the Orz are rumored to be able to enter and swim through Quasispace. There are also hints that the Orz can exist in yet another dimension, with Quasispace being "above" and this other dimension being "below".

Star Trek



The Star Trek
Star Trek
Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. The core of Star Trek is its six television series: The Original Series, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise...

 (first broadcast 1966) universe equivalent of hyperspace is known as subspace
Subspace (Star Trek)
In the Star Trek fictional universe, subspace is a feature of space-time which facilitates faster-than-light transit, in the form of interstellar travel or the transmission of information. Subspace obeys different laws of physics...

. Although similar in concept to hyperspace, subspace plays a slightly different role in FTL travel. Subspace exists in layers, all of which are "below" normal three-dimensional spacetime
Spacetime
In physics, spacetime is any mathematical model that combines space and time into a single continuum. Spacetime is usually interpreted with space as being three-dimensional and time playing the role of a fourth dimension that is of a different sort from the spatial dimensions...

 much like the different layers of a cake. When a starship is traveling at FTL speeds (commonly known as "warp
Warp drive (Star Trek)
Warp drive is a faster-than-light propulsion system in the setting of many science fiction works, most notably Star Trek. A spacecraft equipped with a warp drive may travel at velocities greater than that of light by many orders of magnitude, while circumventing the relativistic problem of time...

" in the Star Trek universe), the ship itself does not enter subspace. Instead, the ship either reacts a steady stream of deuterium
Deuterium
Deuterium, also called heavy hydrogen, is one of two stable isotopes of hydrogen. It has a natural abundance in Earth's oceans of about one atom in of hydrogen . Deuterium accounts for approximately 0.0156% of all naturally occurring hydrogen in Earth's oceans, while the most common isotope ...

 and anti-deuterium
Antimatter
In particle physics, antimatter is the extension of the concept of the antiparticle to matter, where antimatter is composed of antiparticles in the same way that normal matter is composed of particles...

 together, or else taps the massive energy of an artificial quantum singularity
Quantum singularity (fiction)
In science fiction, the term quantum singularity is used to refer to many different phenomena, which often approximately resemble a gravitational singularity in the scientific sense in that they are massive, localized distortions of space and time...

 in order to power large subspace field-generating coils ("warp engines"). The field (known as a warp field) extends into subspace, allowing the enclosed starship to travel at FTL speeds while it remains within a "pocket" of normal spacetime (similar in concept to a 20th century hydrofoil
Hydrofoil
A hydrofoil is a foil which operates in water. They are similar in appearance and purpose to airfoils.Hydrofoils can be artificial, such as the rudder or keel on a boat, the diving planes on a submarine, a surfboard fin, or occur naturally, as with fish fins, the flippers of aquatic mammals, the...

) and it is this pocket of normal space itself which travels faster than light, as the ship sits safely inside the pocket. Wrapping a spaceship within the warp field prevents the relativistic
Special relativity
Special relativity is the physical theory of measurement in an inertial frame of reference proposed in 1905 by Albert Einstein in the paper "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies".It generalizes Galileo's...

 time dilation normally associated with standard FTL travel, and allows interstellar travel to continue in a reasonable amount of time. Despite warp drive's incredible speed compared to current day travel speed, it can still take years to travel across a mere fraction of the galaxy, around a year per 1000 light years.

This concept of FTL travel is asymptotically limited by the idea that if the warp field is too strong, the ship itself will be too deeply submerged in subspace, which has negative genetic effects on living things. In addition, at high warp factors the energy required to sustain the field grows exponentially
Exponential growth
Exponential growth occurs when the growth rate of a mathematical function is proportional to the function's current value...

.

Among the uses of subspace in Star Trek is as a medium for propagating audio and visual signals at FTL speeds, thus allowing nearly instantaneous communication across vast interstellar distances. This is commonly referred to in the Star Trek world as "subspace communication".

Star Wars


The computer role-playing game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is a role-playing video game developed by BioWare and published by LucasArts. It was released for the Xbox on July 15, 2003, for Microsoft Windows on November 19, 2003, and on September 7, 2004 for Mac OS X. The Xbox version is playable on Xbox 360 with its...

 gives one of the more substantial explanations of how hyperspace travel works in the Star Wars
Star Wars
Star Wars is an American epic space opera film series created by George Lucas. The first film in the series was originally released on May 25, 1977, under the title Star Wars, by 20th Century Fox, and became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon, followed by two sequels, released at three-year...

 universe. There are established safe hyperspace routes that were scouted out by an unknown species 50,000 years prior to the events in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, originally released as Star Wars, is a 1977 American epic space opera film, written and directed by George Lucas. It is the first of six films released in the Star Wars saga: two subsequent films complete the original trilogy, while a prequel trilogy completes the...

 (1977). These routes made interstellar trade and eventually the establishment of the Republic
Galactic Republic (Star Wars)
The Galactic Republic is the name of the interplanetary State used in the fictional Star Wars universe prior to the establishment of the Galactic Empire. The form of this government, created by the Senate, was introduced in the Prequel Trilogy. By the time of the original Star Wars trilogy, it is...

 possible. New routes are almost never scouted out, mostly because the end coordinates might place the traveling ship inside some star or planet. For example, the Deep Core Systems are especially hard to navigate because of the high density of stars. A pilot's skill in hyperspace has a lot to do with how he or she navigates the tangled web of hyperspace routes that criss-cross the galaxy. According to George Lucas
George Lucas
George Walton Lucas, Jr. is an American film producer, screenwriter, and director, and entrepreneur. He is the founder, chairman and chief executive of Lucasfilm. He is best known as the creator of the space opera franchise Star Wars and the archaeologist-adventurer character Indiana Jones...

, that is why Han Solo
Han Solo
Han Solo is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise played by Harrison Ford. Introduced in the film Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope , Solo and his Wookiee co-pilot, Chewbacca , become involved in the Rebel Alliance against the Galactic Empire...

 brags about the Millennium Falcon
Millennium Falcon
The Millennium Falcon is a spacecraft in the Star Wars universe commanded by smuggler Han Solo and his Wookiee first mate, Chewbacca...

 making the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsec
Parsec
The parsec is a unit of length used in astronomy. It is about 3.26 light-years, or just under 31 trillion kilometres ....

s when a parsec is a measure of distance rather than time: apparently, his real gift is as a navigator (although in the Star Wars IV: A New Hope novel by Lucas, published in 1975, Solo says "she made the Kessel run in less than twelve Standard Time measures"). This appears to make no sense within the context of the original dialogue, however, as Solo's statement about the Falcon making the Kessel Run in under 12 parsecs was in response to Obi-Wan Kenobi
Obi-Wan Kenobi
Obi-Wan Kenobi is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe. He is one of several primary characters in the Star Wars series. Along with Darth Vader, R2-D2, and C-3PO, he is one of the few major characters to appear in all six Star Wars films...

 saying, "If it's a fast ship." However, to get to Kessel, a ship must pass near The Maw, an incredibly dense cluster of black holes. To achieve a shorter distance, the ship must be moving faster, to skirt the edge of a black hole without being sucked in. Traveling through hyperspace requires the aid of either an astromech droid (such as R2-D2
R2-D2
R2-D2 , is a character in the Star Wars universe. An astromech droid, R2-D2 is a major character throughout all six Star Wars films. Along with his droid companion C-3PO, he joins or supports Anakin Skywalker, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Obi-Wan Kenobi in various points in the saga...

 or R4-P9) or a navicomputer (navigational computer), although Jedi
Jedi
The Jedi are characters in the Star Wars universe and the series's main protagonists. The Jedi use a power called the Force and weapons called lightsabers, which emit a controlled energy flow in the shape of a sword, in order to serve and protect the Republic and the galaxy at large from conflict...

 are sometimes reputed to be able to travel through hyperspace without reference to navicomputers, astromech droids, or existing known routes. Traveling through hyperspace is also apparently quite complex as Han Solo tells Luke that "It ain't like dustin' crops, boy."

In any case, hyperspace is an extremely fast method of travel, as Obi-Wan and Luke Skywalker
Luke Skywalker
Luke Skywalker is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the original film trilogy of the Star Wars franchise, where he is portrayed by Mark Hamill. He is introduced in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, in which he is forced to leave home, and finds himself apprenticed to the Jedi master...

's journey from Tatooine
Tatooine
Tatooine is a fictional planet and setting for many key scenes in the Star Wars saga, appearing in every Star Wars film except The Empire Strikes Back, although it is mentioned at the end of the movie...

 to Alderaan is theorized to have only taken two days maximum, whereas these two planets are separated by half a galaxy or more. Darth Maul
Darth Maul
Darth Maul is a fictional character in the science fiction saga Star Wars. He is one of the main antagonists of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, portrayed by martial artist Ray Park and voiced by Peter Serafinowicz....

 took approximately seven hours to travel from Coruscant
Coruscant
Coruscant is a planet in the fictional Star Wars universe. It first appeared onscreen in the 1997 Special Edition of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, but was first mentioned in Timothy Zahn's 1991 novel Heir to the Empire...

 to Tatooine
Tatooine
Tatooine is a fictional planet and setting for many key scenes in the Star Wars saga, appearing in every Star Wars film except The Empire Strikes Back, although it is mentioned at the end of the movie...

. The movies, as well as multiple Expanded Universe sources, show hyperspace as having a mottled, blue-and-black appearance. An entry into hyperspace shows the stars stretch into starlines, then turn into the mottled appearance. Externally, a ship entering hyperspace is described in Timothy Zahn
Timothy Zahn
Timothy Zahn is a writer of science fiction short stories and novels. His novella Cascade Point won the 1984 Hugo award. He is the author of nine Star Wars Expanded Universe novels, including seven novels featuring Grand Admiral Thrawn: the Thrawn Trilogy, the Hand of Thrawn duology, Outbound...

's novels as displaying a "...flicker of pseudomotion..." before disappearing. Like the above-mentioned Star Trek series, "holocomm" transmissions are featured in Star Wars as long-range, faster-than-light communications signals, sent through hyperspace.

The hyperspace speed of a ship is represented by "class," an arbitrary and abstract measure. Lower numbers indicate proportionally lower travel time, and thus higher speed. For instance, an X-Wing
X-wing
X-wings are fictional starfighters from the original Star Wars trilogy and the expanded universe. They are depicted as the primary interceptor and dogfighter of the Rebel Alliance and the New Republic...

 is class 1. The Death Star
Death Star
The Death Star is a fictional moon-sized space station and superweapon appearing in the Star Wars movies and expanded universe. It is capable of destroying a planet with a single destructive super charged energy beam.-Origin and design:...

 is class 3, which means it can travel through hyperspace only one-third as fast as the X-Wing. A more standard capital ship such as a Star Destroyer
Star Destroyer
Star Destroyers are capital ships in the fictional Star Wars universe. The Imperial Star Destroyer, which first appears in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope , is "the signature vessel of the Imperial fleet"...

 may clock in at class 2, and a civilian bulk freighter at class 4. Very fast ships, with class lower than 1, are relatively rare; the remarkably speedy Millennium Falcon is class 0.5, or twice as fast as the X-Wing. The Ebon Hawk, the primary ship used in the Knights of the Old Republic series, is said to be the fastest in the galaxy, 4000 years prior to the rise of the Empire. However, at that time, hyperdrive technology was not as well-developed; a class 1 hyperdrive, the Ebon Hawks class, was considered extremely fast. It is stated that it is the only ship capable of breaking the Sith-blockade of the planet Taris (although that may be interpreted as the only ship that was capable and also located ON Taris at the time of the blockade). Similarly, the Ebon Hawk was used for smuggling prior to the events of the games, just as the Millennium Falcon.

Stargate


In the Stargate universe
Stargate
Stargate is a adventure military science fiction franchise, initially conceived by Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin. The first film in the franchise was simply titled Stargate. It was originally released on October 28, 1994, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Carolco, and became a hit, grossing nearly...

, most spaceships are equipped with hyperdrives that open up a window to hyperspace. Different races have hyperdrives of varying speeds; a hyperdrive constructed by the Alterans (Ancients
Ancient (Stargate)
The Ancients are a humanoid race in the fictional Stargate universe. They are called "Ancients" in the Milky Way, but are also known as Lanteans or Ancestors in the Pegasus galaxy and as the Alterans in their home galaxy, and they sometimes call themselves Anquietas in their language...

), or by the Asgard
Asgard (Stargate)
The Asgard are a fictional highly advanced race in the science fiction series Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. They are first mentioned in the episode , and first seen in . In the series, the Asgard gave rise to Norse mythology on Earth, as well as accounts of the Roswell "Greys"...

 would be significantly faster than a Goa'uld
Goa'uld
The Goa'uld are a fictional symbiotic race of ancient astronauts from the American-Canadian military science fiction television franchise Stargate. The Goa'uld are parasites from the planet P3X-888, integrated within a host, most of the time human. The resulting creatures are a powerful race bent...

 hyperdrive. There are two types of hyperdrives: interstellar, which only allows the ship using that hyperdrive to travel between stars in one galaxy in relatively expedient manner, and intergalactic, which allows the ship using it to travel greater distances and at greater speed. The only races shown to use intergalactic hyperdrives are the Tau'ri (through Asgard hyperdrive engines, for example on the USS Daedalus), the Asgard, the Ancients/Alterans (most notably Atlantis
Atlantis (Stargate)
In the science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis, the spin-off of Stargate SG-1, Atlantis is a city-sized starship originally located in the Pegasus galaxy. Atlantis serves as the base of operations for the main characters, from which they explore other planets through the Stargate...

), the Asuran
Asuran (Stargate)
The Asurans are a fictional race in the science fiction series Stargate Atlantis that bear many similarities to the human-form Replicators of Stargate SG-1. These similarities have led the Asurans to simply be called "Replicators" by other characters on the show...

 human-form Replicators
Replicator (Stargate)
In the military science fiction series Stargate SG-1, the Replicators are antagonistic self-replicating machines that propagate by ingesting the metals that make up civilizations and use them to create either blocks that form the bug-like version or smaller cells that compose the human-form...

, the Milky Way
Milky Way
The Milky Way is the galaxy that contains the Solar System. This name derives from its appearance as a dim un-resolved "milky" glowing band arching across the night sky...

 human-form replicators and the Ori
Ori (Stargate)
The Ori are fictional characters in the science fiction television series, Stargate SG-1. They are a group of "ascended" beings who use their advanced technology and knowledge of the universe to attempt to trick non-ascended humans into worshipping them as gods.They first appeared in the ninth...

.

Most hyperdrives use the fictional substance of Naquadah as fuel. Some, including certain Earth vessels, use the highly unstable, but more powerful isotope of Naquadriah instead. Ancient hyperdrives are powered by one or more ZPMs, whereas the Asgard hyperdrive engines use a variety of power sources.

Unlike hyperdrives used in other universes, hyperspace travel in Stargate does not interact with any matter in real space. Therefore, it allows ships to pass straight through any object (but no large space-time distortions, such as black hole
Black hole
A black hole is a region of spacetime from which nothing, not even light, can escape. The theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass will deform spacetime to form a black hole. Around a black hole there is a mathematically defined surface called an event horizon that...

s) in its path. This has been used in numerous escape scenarios throughout the series. The speed of the hyperdrive can be increased by increasing its power by an external or internal source, or by modifying it manually.

When the Daedalus is powered by its Asgard Hyperdrive, it takes 18 days to travel to Atlantis
Atlantis (Stargate)
In the science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis, the spin-off of Stargate SG-1, Atlantis is a city-sized starship originally located in the Pegasus galaxy. Atlantis serves as the base of operations for the main characters, from which they explore other planets through the Stargate...

 in the Pegasus galaxy; however, when the engineers rigged the Zero Point Module (ZPM) sent for Atlantis' Ancient shield into the system, it took only 4 days. Earth's Daedalus-class battle cruiser the Odyssey is mentioned to have its own permanent ZPM during the war against the Ori, although it is unknown if the ZPM is sent to Atlantis following the Ori's eventual defeat.

Several ships can be encompassed in one hyperspace window by expanding the window but it takes a lot more power than usual, it is also possible to land a ship on one that is entering the hyperspace window and travel alongside. This previous is not a problem if someone can install a ZPM, because a fully charged module can procure massive amounts of energy. It been shown that it's possible to open a hyperspace window in a planet's atmosphere, but it seems to distort space around it.

Each species's hyperdrives works on a unique frequency, which is how the Attero device specifically targets Wraith ships while their hyperdrives are active.

Hyperspace also has a type of "Hyperspace Radiation" which all Wraith
Wraith (Stargate)
In the science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis, the Wraith are the original enemy alien species, first introduced in the pilot episode . In the series, they are a vampire-like telepathic race who feed on the "life-force" of humans, and are the dominant power in the Pegasus galaxy...

 ships suffer damage from and as a result must exit out of hyperspace every once in a while to allow their organic ships to heal from the hyperspace radiation damage.

In order to reach the full potential speed of their hyperdrive, the Asgard must shunt all power away from shields and weapons. When using the full potential of their hyperdrives, the Asgard can move from one galaxy to another in under two minutes.

The Ancient Ship Destiny uses a different method of Faster-Than-Light propulsion, simply named FTL. Much of its workings have yet to be explained. Destiny's drives, once engaged, must remain active for a minimum of four hours and remain inactive for a minimum of three to prevent damage to the drives. This same method of FTL is used of both the Ancient Seed Ships seen in Stargate Universe, and the Alteran city ship seen in Stargate: The Arc of Truth

Sword of the Stars


In the computer game Sword of the Stars
Sword of the Stars
Sword of the Stars is a space 4X game developed by Kerberos Productions. In the game the player chooses one of four unique races to form an interstellar empire and conquer the galaxy...

, each race has its own form of hyperspace, and therefore interstellar travel.

Humans, for example, utilize "Nodespace," a degenerate form of normal space formed by "cracks" between areas of heavy gravity such as stars. In Nodespace distances are greatly reduced, allowing ships to use ordinary sublight propulsion and yet still cover distances that would require FTL propulsion if traveling in normal space. Without the special "Bell Drive" nothing can cross between normal space and Nodespace, rendering traveling ships effectively invisible while in Nodespace, though they cannot see what they are traveling toward either. As well, Nodespace fractures form naturally and somewhat randomly, meaning that the shortest path between stars may still be somewhat circuitous.

The Hivers do not utilize any form of fast travel, instead employing Jumpgates to physically connect two or more points in space. Though it takes substantial amounts of time for a ship to travel between stars at sublight speeds, once a jumpgate is constructed within an intense gravity field it is essentially "next to" all other jumpgates, allowing instant travel between any worlds in the network.

Liir ships can not use normal drives due to their special requirements (their ships are much more massive than normal due to having to be filled with water, and thus would require enormously larger amounts of power to move). They instead perfect a form of instantaneous teleportation allowing them to transport from one location to another without moving at all. Eventually they can teleport far enough and quickly enough to achieve "speeds" that are effectively FTL over long distances.

The Tarkas are the only race to truly develop an FTL drive. Their ships fold space around them, allowing them to move at faster than light speeds.

Zuul Slavers, introduced in the expansion Born of Blood, utilize Nodespace in a similar manner to humans. Rather than exploiting natural Nodespace fractures, however, Zuul ships rip paths into Nodespace directly. This allows them to travel between stars as they wish, rather than being subject to the whims of nature. However, these artificial fractures are unstable and must be continually reinforced or they will collapse, destroying any matter in them at the time. As Zuul and Humans both use Nodespace in their travel, they may actually contact or intercept each other while in transit.

The Voyage of the Star Wolf


An idea similar to hyperspace, called hyperstate, was introduced by David Gerrold
David Gerrold
Jerrold David Friedman , better known by his pen name David Gerrold, is an American science fiction author who started his career in 1966 while a college student by submitting an unsolicited story outline for the television series Star Trek. He was invited to submit several premises, and the one...

 in the novel The Voyage of the Star Wolf (1990). In this setting starships used artificially-produced gravitational singularities
Gravitational singularity
A gravitational singularity or spacetime singularity is a location where the quantities that are used to measure the gravitational field become infinite in a way that does not depend on the coordinate system...

 (the space-time distortions found at the center of black hole
Black hole
A black hole is a region of spacetime from which nothing, not even light, can escape. The theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass will deform spacetime to form a black hole. Around a black hole there is a mathematically defined surface called an event horizon that...

s) to transition between normal space and so-called irrational space, where faster than light travel was possible. The primary limitation of hyperstate was that the resulting gravitational distortions could be easily detected by other starships, so stealthy movement at faster-than-light speeds was effectively impossible.

Warhammer 40,000


Human interstellar ships are able to enter "the Warp", a maelstrom caused by the conscious thoughts of every sentient being in the universe and the realm of the Chaos Gods and Demons
Chaos (Warhammer)
In Games Workshop's Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000 fictional universes, Chaos refers to the often stereotypically malevolent entities which live in a different timespace, known as the Warp in Warhammer 40,000 and as the Realm of Chaos in Warhammer Fantasy...

. Humanity
Imperium (Warhammer 40,000)
The Imperium of Man is a fictional galactic empire of over a million planets that contains the vast majority of humans in the forty-first millennium, set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe created by Games Workshop....

 uses it to attempt faster-than-light travel, with mixed success due to its unpredictable nature. Ships are known to emerge from the warp many hundreds of light-years from their intended destinations, years, decades or even centuries after they had been expected to arrive, or even to arrive before they had left. However, the Emperor of Mankind, arguably the most powerful psychic being ever to exist, provides a psychic magnetic north for Imperial ships attempting to traverse the Warp. Called the Astronomican, it allows the already-perilous interplanetary travel of the Imperium to exist in its current form. Starships require a special force-field known as a Geller Field
Uri Geller
Uri Geller is a self-proclaimed psychic known for his trademark television performances of spoon bending and other supposed psychic effects. Throughout the years, Geller has been accused of using simple conjuring tricks to achieve the effects of psychokinesis and telepathy...

, that asserts normal space on the warp. In James Swallow's novel The Flight of the Eisenstein, a horrific description of the inside of a ship whose field had failed is given.

The Tau
Tau (Warhammer 40,000)
In the universe of Games Workshop's table-top wargame Warhammer 40,000, the Tau Empire is an alien race, inhabiting a small but dense region of space on the eastern edge of the Galaxy, roughly 300 light years in diameter...

, however, do not register in the Warp and therefore cannot truly enter it. But by studying the Warp drives from other species, they developed a method in which their ships "dive" towards the Warp and are then catapulted away, back into real space. While this is much safer than actually entering the Warp, it is much slower.

The Hive Fleets of the Tyranids
Tyranids
The Tyranids are a fictional race from the Warhammer 40000 tabletop game and its spin-off media. They are known to the Imperium generally as Tyranids, because Tyran is the first known planet they devoured and where they were first encountered...

 do not travel through the Warp but instead rely on small Narvhal bio-ships which are capable of harnessing a planetary system's gravity from immense distances away to create a corridor of compressed-space through which Tyranid vessels can travel towards the system at a swift rate. Whilst slower than proper Warp travel, this method is much more reliable.

The Eldar
Eldar (Warhammer 40,000)
In the fictional universe of Warhammer 40,000, the Eldar are a race of elf-like humanoids who look into the future via psychic powers. They are one of the most ancient and advanced races in the universe's history, though younger than the Necrons, the C'tan, and the Old Ones...

 (and a parasitic sub-race, the Dark Eldar) use a system of Jumpgates known as the "Webway Matrix", which operates using an expansive series of ancient "tunnels" in the warp that are immune to the influences of Chaos or the usual perils of warp travel. However, the scope and nature of the webway is as yet unknown the vast majority of mankind. The race of Necrons may have used a similar system at some point in their past, but use an inertialess drive
Inertialess drive
The inertialess drive is a fictional means of accelerating to close to the speed of light or faster-than-light travel, originally used in Triplanetary and the Lensman series by E.E. "Doc" Smith, and later by Robert A...

 now.

Xenosaga


In the video game series Xenosaga
Xenosaga
is a series of science fiction video games developed by Monolith Soft and published by Namco Bandai. Xenosaga's main story is in the form of a trilogy of PlayStation 2 video games. There have been three spin-off games and an anime adaptation. The Xenosaga series serves as a spiritual successor to...

 (published 1998– ) for the PlayStation 2
PlayStation 2
The PlayStation 2 is a sixth-generation video game console manufactured by Sony as part of the PlayStation series. Its development was announced in March 1999 and it was first released on March 4, 2000, in Japan...

 console, people routinely travel long distances in space through hyperspace. Hyperspace in the Xenosaga universe is a realm of alternative space that looks like a long tube or column similar to a wormhole
Wormhole
In physics, a wormhole is a hypothetical topological feature of spacetime that would be, fundamentally, a "shortcut" through spacetime. For a simple visual explanation of a wormhole, consider spacetime visualized as a two-dimensional surface. If this surface is folded along a third dimension, it...

. In this space a starship
Starship
A starship or interstellar spacecraft is a theoretical spacecraft designed for traveling between the stars, as opposed to a vehicle designed for orbital spaceflight or interplanetary travel....

 can accelerate to faster than light speeds without experiencing the time dilation effects normally experienced when approaching the speed of light in normal space. Only spaceships equipped with a special force field can enter hyperspace, because exposure to hyperspace even for short period of time is hazardous to unprotected humans. In order to enter hyperspace a ship must go to a specific area in space known as a Column Area. Column Areas are places where ships can safely gate into and out of hyperspace. They can be found all over the universe and are separated by less than a day's travel at sub-light speeds. Navigating hyperspace requires entering a Column Area and finding a corresponding point within the universe-spanning navigation network known as the Unus Mundus Network (U.M.N.). The U.M.N. Transportation Gate management facility controls the use of Column Areas, and clearance must be granted before hyperspace can be entered.

Early video games


Early video games in which hyperspace was featured include Asteroids, Star Raiders
Star Raiders
Star Raiders is a video game for the Atari 8-bit family of computers, released in 1979 and programmed by Doug Neubauer. It was also later ported to other Atari computer and game platforms...

 and Defender
Defender (game)
Defender is an arcade video game developed released by Williams Electronics in 1980. A shooting game featuring two-dimensional graphics, the game is set on a fictional planet where the player must defeat waves of invading aliens while protecting astronauts...

 along with its sequel Defender II (aka Stargate). This was a way of escaping danger by having your ship vanish and reappear in a random area on the play screen. However, there was always the chance that the player's ship would reappear in an even more dangerous spot. Defender and Defender II had a feature in which a ship would explode a certain percentage of time upon re-emerging from hyperspace. It was explained as having the ship rematerialize in the same space as an enemy ship or missile, which made using hyperspace a last ditch effort to avoid an otherwise certain demise. In the video game Star Raiders
Star Raiders
Star Raiders is a video game for the Atari 8-bit family of computers, released in 1979 and programmed by Doug Neubauer. It was also later ported to other Atari computer and game platforms...

 a ship would first use a galactic chart and move the dot which represents the ship and move to a sector with enemy ships then activate the hyperwarp and jump to hyperspace and reemerge into the Sector with enemy Zylon Warships some which resemble the TIE fighter
TIE fighter
TIE fighters are fictional starfighters in the Star Wars universe. Propelled by Twin Ion Engines , TIE fighters are depicted as fast, fragile starfighters produced by Sienar Fleet Systems for the Galactic Empire...

s seen in Star Wars
Star Wars
Star Wars is an American epic space opera film series created by George Lucas. The first film in the series was originally released on May 25, 1977, under the title Star Wars, by 20th Century Fox, and became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon, followed by two sequels, released at three-year...

.

Other forms


Other forms of hyperspace usually have the same properties, however, some allow travel throughout time as well as space (e.g. the Time Vortex
Time vortex (Doctor Who)
In the science fiction television series Doctor Who, the time vortex is the medium that the TARDIS and other time machines travel through...

). Popular names include warpspace, slipspace and subspace
Subspace (Star Trek)
In the Star Trek fictional universe, subspace is a feature of space-time which facilitates faster-than-light transit, in the form of interstellar travel or the transmission of information. Subspace obeys different laws of physics...

.

Slipspace is a method of travelling faster-than-light in the television series Andromeda. According to the show, a Gravity Field Generator drastically reduces the mass of the ship and then a slipstream drive opens a slippoint which the ship enters. The pilot then navigates the series of slipstream "tunnels" until they reach the desired slippoint where they exit the slipstream. Slipspace has the unusual property that it cannot be navigated by machine-based intelligence, however advanced. Only organic sentient beings are capable of selecting the correct path.

Halo also uses Slipspace, albeit with different capabilities. Humans, using Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engines, can tear black holes in known space which quickly evaporate, creating a hole in space. This puts a human ship into eleven-nondimensional Slipspace. Human technology only goes so far, and the ship usually comes out several kilometers off target. Their maximum speed is universally under 1000c. Covenant
Covenant (Halo)
The Covenant are a fictional theocratic military alliance of alien races who serve as the main antagonists in the Halo video game series. They are composed of a variety of diverse species, united under the religious worship of the enigmatic Forerunners and their belief that Forerunner ringworlds...

 ships have drastically more accurate precision in this matter, along with much faster speeds (336,000c). Halo: Contact Harvest
Halo: Contact Harvest
Halo: Contact Harvest is a science fiction novel by Joseph Staten, set in the Halo universe. Staten is a longtime employee of Bungie, the developer of the Halo video game series; he directed the cut scenes in the video games and is a major contributor to Halos storyline...

 describes it as "If one imagined the universe as a sheet of paper, Slipspace was the same sheet of paper crumpled into a tight ball."

Interspace (see also a footnote above under "Known Space Series", Niven) In "Combing Back Through Time" by Mike Atkinson, this is used to step a visual history recording probe through the fourth dimension.

Overdrive In the works of science fiction writer Murray Leinster
Murray Leinster
Murray Leinster was a nom de plume of William Fitzgerald Jenkins, an award-winning American writer of science fiction and alternate history...

, Overdrive is a method of faster than light travel by a field of energy called an overdrive field. When the overdrive field is activated, the ship then enters a dimensional subspace moving thirty times faster than light. Most of this power is held in batteries and recharged when the overdrive field is turned off. This method of faster than light travel is common in his works where faster than light travel is used though the stories are not connected in any other way.

The spindizzy
Spindizzy
The Dillon-Wagoner Graviton Polarity Generator, known colloquially as the spindizzy is a fictitious anti-gravity device imagined by James Blish for his series Cities in Flight...

 from James Blish's "Cities in Flight" series as well as the Haertel overdrive in several other novels are described as creating a small space-time bubble in which the spacecraft travels. The ship therefore occupies a space-time continuum where effects such as the Lorenz-Fitzgerald contraction do not apply. The space-time created by the spindizzy or Haertel overdrive can be considered a small, self-contained hyperspace.

Plane Space is the form of faster than light travel in the Crest of the Stars
Crest of the Stars
is a three-volume space opera science fiction novel written by Hiroyuki Morioka with cover illustrations by Toshihiro Ono. Beginning in 1999, the novels were adapted into anime series, the first of which ran for 13 episodes on WOWOW...

 and Banner of the Stars
Banner of the Stars
is a series of science fiction novels written by Hiroyuki Morioka, which serve as sequels to Crest of the Stars. The series is ongoing. Three of the four novels in the series have been made into anime.- Characters :Main characters:...

 series written by Hiroyuki Morioka
Hiroyuki Morioka
is a Japanese science fiction novelist.- Biography :In 1992, his first novel Yume no ki ga tsugeta nara appeared in Hayakawa Shobo 's SF Magazine...

. It is only accessible via Sords, making ones located near star systems of high strategic value.

Resurrection
The Kinley race had developed a device called the "Eschless Funnel", a device that harvested energy directly from atomic mass. This allowed a normal fusion drive to warp space. Instead of traveling to another dimension, however, the field created an "enclave where the normal rules didn't apply".

See also

  • Faster-than-light transmission
    Faster-than-light
    Faster-than-light communications and travel refer to the propagation of information or matter faster than the speed of light....

  • Jumpgate
    Jumpgate
    In science fiction, a jump gate is a fictional device able to create a wormhole or portal, allowing fast travel between two points in space...

  • Stargate
    Stargate (device)
    A Stargate is a portal device within the Stargate fictional universe that allows practical, rapid travel between two distant locations. The devices first appear in the 1994 Roland Emmerich film Stargate, and thereafter in the television series Stargate SG-1 and its spin-offs...

  • Four-dimensional space
  • Spacecraft propulsion
    Spacecraft propulsion
    Spacecraft propulsion is any method used to accelerate spacecraft and artificial satellites. There are many different methods. Each method has drawbacks and advantages, and spacecraft propulsion is an active area of research. However, most spacecraft today are propelled by forcing a gas from the...

  • Wormhole
    Wormhole
    In physics, a wormhole is a hypothetical topological feature of spacetime that would be, fundamentally, a "shortcut" through spacetime. For a simple visual explanation of a wormhole, consider spacetime visualized as a two-dimensional surface. If this surface is folded along a third dimension, it...

    s
  • Warp drive (Star Trek)
    Warp drive (Star Trek)
    Warp drive is a faster-than-light propulsion system in the setting of many science fiction works, most notably Star Trek. A spacecraft equipped with a warp drive may travel at velocities greater than that of light by many orders of magnitude, while circumventing the relativistic problem of time...

  • Jump drive
    Jump drive
    A jump drive is one of the speculative inventions in science fiction, a method of traveling faster than light .Related concepts are hyperdrive, warp drive and interstellar teleporter. The key characteristic of a jump drive is that it allows a starship to be instantaneously teleported between two...

  • Hyperdrive
    Hyperdrive
    Hyperdrive is a name given to certain methods of traveling faster-than-light in science fiction. Related concepts are jump drive and warp drive....

  • Slipspace
  • Boom Tube
    Boom tube
    A boom tube is a slang expression for a fictional extra-dimensional point-to-point travel portal opened by a Mother Box used primarily by residents of New Genesis and Apokolips in DC Comics...

  • Spacetime
    Spacetime
    In physics, spacetime is any mathematical model that combines space and time into a single continuum. Spacetime is usually interpreted with space as being three-dimensional and time playing the role of a fourth dimension that is of a different sort from the spatial dimensions...


Further reading

  • Hyperspace
    Hyperspace (book)
    Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension is a book by Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist from the City College of New York. It focuses on Kaku's studies of higher dimensions referred to as hyperspace...

     by Michio Kaku
    Michio Kaku
    is an American theoretical physicist, the Henry Semat Professor of Theoretical Physics in the City College of New York of City University of New York, the co-founder of string field theory, and a "communicator" and "popularizer" of science...

     (Anchor)
  • Surfing through Hyperspace: Understanding Higher Universes in Six Easy Lessons (Oxford University Press) by Clifford A. Pickover
    Clifford A. Pickover
    Clifford A. Pickover is an American author, editor, and columnist in the fields of science, mathematics, and science fiction, and is employed at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown, New York.- Biography :He received his Ph.D...

  • The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality (Knopf) by Brian Greene
  • Brian Stableford: Science Fact and Science Fiction: An Encyclopedia. CRC Press 2006, ISBN 0-415-97460-7, S.238-39 (eingeschränkte Online-Version (Google Books))

External links