astrogation Spell in Star Wars: Shards | World Anvil

astrogation (ass troh GAY shun)

Holopedia Galactica entry:


Astrogation is the skill that pilots, navigators, and other spacefaring careers use to plot a course from one star system to another. In most cases, the route will include travel through hyperspace via a vehicle equipped with a hyperdrive. Periodic returns to realspace during transit may be required for informational updates about the next segment of the route, or for refuel and resupply, or for rest breaks in the case of passengers with hyperspace equilibrium disorder. Well-equipped large vessels may be able to make long hyperspace journeys along established hyperlanes without dropping into realspace by accessing Bureau of Ships and Services route updates from the navbuoy network seeded along these routes.

Any interstellar pilot has to know enough astrogation to make accurate calculations for their imminent jump, the trip through equivalent hyperspace, and the return to realspace at the end.

Anakin Skywalker's notes: More astrogation than that!

A pilot who wants to survive is one who learns more astrogation than the operator's minimum.
That can feel like a daunting barrier at first: astrogation is composed of, oh,
  • astrocartography
  • trigonometry
  • interstellar weather forecasting, with specific attention to stellar winds and meteoritics
  • regional traffic patterns and their cycles
plus bits of a few engineering disciplines like the mass and acceleration profiles of the vehicle you actually pilot. Nothing ever matches the shipwright's documentation.
Yes, absolutely, that seems like a huge pile of education tumbled all over the path to a pilot's license! And I say that as someone generally known as a "seat-of-pants navigator" among my peers, a reputation I've held since I was a pre-adolescent. Yes, I can usually go from entering the starship to making my hyperspace jump pretty fast. Absolutely! But I can do that because I am very good at making my astrogation calculations.
I have overridden the nav computer's calculations seven times.
Related Organizations

Game Mechanics:

Attribute: Mechanical

Time taken:
  • 1 minute

    (1 round in emergencies)
  • starting position known
  • commonly traveled jump route
  • a few hours
  • starting position known
  • pilot has never transited this route before
  • nav computer must calculate coordinates
  • 1 standard day
  • first, take readings to determine current position

Skill specializations: Specific hyperlane trade routes

Difficulties: see Terrain Difficulties in Space!

I have overridden the nav computer's calculations eight times.
And I was right each time!
Almost always, the nav computer will reach a more accurate answer, faster, than any living pilot will -- if the pilot plugs in the right parameters, in the right format. As a pilot, you have to understand what the nav computer is doing with your input in order to give it the relevant information.
Even more so, you need an understanding of the process, guided by your experience, to be able to spot an incorrect result on the rare occasion that it comes up.
Or if, Force forbid, something goes wrong with your ship's navigational system!
Take the time to learn astrogation. Run the occasional longhand version for yourself, see if your results match up to what the shipboard computer or an astromech droid spits out. Play with variables in your simulator: What if a magnetic storm sweeps through the middle of your route, misaligning two navbuoys? What if you have to cut around an Interdictor?
What if, during a long hyperspace journey, your brother falls asleep at the controls? He bonks the autopilot "on" and the auxiliary power "off" as he startles himself awake, and the ship right-turns directly into an uncharted nebula?
That was one time, Ani!
From a certain point of view, sure.
From the point of the view of the other pilot who had to wake up out of a sound sleep, swap to emergency life support, safely reroute the ship to make a gentle course reversal before I even finished climbing into my seat, take a bunch of readings, twice talk you into keeping your emergency oxygen mask in place, figure out a trajectory based on our current fuel level, dig the recent autopilot log out of a malfunctioning computer, and replace our original hyperdrive calculations with a completely different set of conclusions?
From that point of view, you are never living this down. Three hundred years from now when we're both one with the Cosmic Force, I will still remind you of that time you sleep-piloted us into a hyperspace nebula.
You have to admit that it serves as a great example of why a pilot needs a solid foundation in astrogation. Waste no energy on worry; it's unnecessary when half a standard month of dedicated study and practice examples can give any pilot the basic skills to describe their problem and the techniques to start solving it. Give your future self an extra option in the face of adversity.
With experience, you will find that the best answer will subconsciously feel right when the values match the needed outcome … even if the active portions of your mind are not aware of all the contributing variables.
- database entry updated Katunda
32 Melona


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