Hyper Drive Technology / Science in Milky Way | World Anvil

Hyper Drive

The Hyper Drive is a device that allows a spacecraft to travel faster than light by breaching into the dimension of hyperspace. In order to activate, a hyper drive-equipped starship must be outside the gravity well of a star, or any artificial gravity wells created by FTL inhibitors. Once a ship has arrived at a hyperspace conduit, it must charge its hyperdrive for several hours. Once the drive is fully charged, the relatively weak dimensional barrier at a conduit is breached, creating a momentary portal for the ship to transit through. Once inside, a ship must move under its own power to the other end of the hyperlane, a distance which is vastly reduced from realspace. Once at the other end, the hyper drive shuts down, causing the ship to revert to realspace. If a drive malfunctions during transit, it can cause a ship to drop out from hyperspace in the void between stars.

More advanced hyper drives are capable of detecting especially weak points within a hyperspace conduit, referred to as breach points. These breach points require significantly less energy to open a portal near, and can cut drive charge time by as much as 25%. Other developments include the usage of subspace slipstreams that are present within hyperspace, which can cause a ship to move significantly faster than it would solely under its own power.

The majority of modern spacefaring societies discovered hyperspace and developed the hyper drive around the year 2200 CE, with some exceptions. The infinitismal chance of dozens of independent species nearly simultaneously developing the technology has been a subject of considerable debate, with explanations ranging from precursor meddling, to indirect guidance by the fallen empires, to the whims of the Shroud.

Hyper Relays

Hyper relays are large spaceborne structures that allow for rapid transit between systems. They are effectively massive hyper drives that allow individual starships to immediately enter any hyper lane within range. Although ships still need to charge their own hyper drives to transit, hyper relays eliminate the days or weeks of travel that usually comes with traversing a star system. Hyper relays are also linked together, meaning a ship leaving hyperspace will exit at the next hyper relay, allowing for an extremely rapid "chain" that can cut travel times by months. Most stellar empires have hyper relays that connect their most important worlds to their capital, and connections to their neighbours.
Access & Availability
Typically widely available
Varies by species, majority circa 2200 CE


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