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Hyperspace (science fiction) 1

Hyperspace (science fiction)

Hyperspace is a plot device sometimes used in science fiction. It is typically described as an alternate region of
space co-existing with our own universe which may be entered using an energy field or other device. Travel in
hyperspace is frequently depicted as faster-than-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 or intergalactic travel. Spacecraft able to use hyperspace for FTL travel are
sometimes said to have a hyperdrive.
Detailed descriptions of the mechanisms of hyperspace travel are often provided in stories using the plot device,
sometimes incorporating some actual physics such as relativity or string theory 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), slip space in the Halo universe, Z space in Animorphs, or "Underspace" (U-space), commonly referred to in
the works of Neal Asher.

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 and B lies outside the black hole—since nothing can exit a black hole, such a
path would not exist. (Although black holes do emit Hawking radiation) Finally, because of the general relativity,
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, even light. 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
is better than the straight path. 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
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Generally speaking, the idea of hyperspace relies on the existence of a separate and adjacent dimension. When
activated, the hyper drive shunts the starship 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 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, Flatland). 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) 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 and/or Riemannian manifolds, and may be the original form from which later
concepts of hyperspace arose. This form often restricts FTL travel to specific "jump points".

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. Some stories, before the development of the science fiction genre,
feature space travel using a fictional existence outside of what humans normally observe. In "Somnium" (published
1634), Johannes Kepler tells of travel to the moon with the help of demons. From the 1930s through to the 1950s,
many stories in the science fiction magazines, Amazing Stories and Astounding Science Fiction introduced readers to
hyperspace as a fourth spatial dimension. John Campbell'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's Technical Error (1950), an accident causes a man to be laterally reversed due to a
brief encounter with "hyperspace".
Hyperspace travel became widespread in science fiction due to the perceived limitations of FTL travel in ordinary
space. In E.E. Smith's, Grey Lensman (1939) a "5th order drive" allows travel to anywhere in the universe while
Hyperspace (science fiction) 3

hyperspace weapons are used to attack spaceships. In Nelson Bond's The Scientific Pioneer Returns (1940), the
hyperspace concept is described. Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, first published between 1942 and 1944 in
Astounding Science Fiction, featured a Galactic Empire traversed through hyperspace. Asimov's short story, Little
Lost Robot (1947), features a "Hyperatomic Drive" shortened to "Hyperdrive" and goes on to describe how
"...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 one's 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; 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, but their existence is just a plot device allowing for interstellar policies to
actually form and exist. Science fiction author Larry Niven published his opinions to that effect in N-Space.
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 devices 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. 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 due to 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

Asimovian Hyperspace
The concept of traveling between stellar systems via the hyperspace drive or "jump" is described or mentioned in
several of Isaac Asimov'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. 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 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.
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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. Once perfected
however, the drive is little used, as it is fearfully heavy 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, with which hyperspace navigation (see The Stars, Like Dust)
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 thousands of years after the first drives were developed would a ship be
developed (as in Foundation's Edge) 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
Asimov (in Foundation's Edge) defines Hyperspace 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
gravitional 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 i decreasing with the square of
the distance to the nearest gravitational 'well'
As a condition, hyperspace translates objects as a phased Tachyon wave, which once collapsed restores the objects to
their Meson 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, transitioning in and out of hyperspace. Also in Nemesis, a group
of explorers use a spacecraft 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 and the
other part is in hyperspace, possibly, but rarely, resulting in grave danger. A scientist on the Superluminal determines
that while in hyperspace, gravity acts as a repellent force rather than as an attractive one.

Colony Wars/Red Sun

In the PlayStation game Colony Wars, the player's ship will scout, follow, protect or destroy some other bigger ships,
these on end of the mission, project an "Jumpgate" as the message "Jumpgate open." appears, then, the player have to
pass trough it to successfully end the mission. In some rare occasions, the player will face "Warpholes", seen on
giant white space tornados, that enemy/allied ships will come in few number to assist the surrounding ships.

A somewhat unusual depiction of hyperspace travel is found in the Frank Herbert novel Dune (1965). In the Dune
milieu, space is "folded" 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
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Spacing Guild performs all hyperspace travel using their heighliners equipped with Holtzman drives. This monopoly
gives the Guild great power.
The Guild's Navigators megadose on the addictive substance melange, found only on the planet Arrakis. 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.

Instrumentality of Mankind series

In the Instrumentality of Mankind future history series by Cordwainer Smith (written in the 1950s and 1960s), FTL
travel can be accomplished through a hyperspace known as 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
• 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 tandem, to lift a plaoforming
platform the size of Cape Canaveral Space Centre's Pad 34B during investigation of Space3. this implies a diameter
of no more than 50 cm approximately.
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, Mt. 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.
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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 - These 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 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 whatever this unknown threat was unharmed. They would
crew STL light sail ships, while the passengers were kept in suspended animation. 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 on-board 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 series by Larry Niven, 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 hypershunt within the gravity
well of a sufficiently large celestial body supposedly 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; 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, a
species whose biology is based on superfluid helium and who thus were more readily able and inclined to perform
experiments in interstellar space.
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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.)

Star Trek
The Star Trek (first broadcast 1966) universe equivalent of hyperspace is known as subspace. 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 much like the different layers of a cake. When a starship is
traveling at FTL speeds (commonly known as "warp" in the Star Trek universe), the ship itself does not enter
subspace. Instead, the ship either reacts a steady stream of deuterium and anti-deuterium together, or else taps the
massive energy of an artificial quantum singularity 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 an inner sphere of normal spacetime (similar in concept to a 20th century hydrofoil).
Wrapping a spaceship within the warp field prevents the relativistic 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.)
Of course 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.
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".
In later Star Trek spin-offs, the main protagonists begin to experiment with unusual forms of FTL drives such as
transwarp drive, soliton wave drive, wormholes, and even subspace. There are also similarities between the
Hyperspace Drive of Star Wars and the Quantum Slipstream Drive of Star Trek Voyager. Also included in the Star
Trek Voyager series is the use of the much fabled warp 10 although in earlier original season's the Enterprise was
able to travel at warp 14.1 ("That Which Survives"), this was changed however for the Star Trek: The Next
Generation series to be a maximum unattainable speed of warp 10, which is implied to be infinite velocity. Every
series such has followed suit except Star Trek: Enterprise, which, taking place before the warp scale rearrangement,
still abides by the original scale. (However, in Enterprise, most of the ships seen are of a lower technological level
than in the original series, and speeds above Warp factor 6 are highly unusual.)
In Star Trek: Voyager episode "Threshold", the speed of warp 10 is achieved with disastrous results. Crew member
Tom Paris takes the Shuttlecraft Cochrane out to test his theory. He makes it back after disappearing off the sensors
and tells of what he saw at warp 10. He was in every point in the universe at once. After this he begins to evolve into
a future stage of human evolution; millions of years of evolution in the space of a few hours. Later on, after another
trip at warp 10, both Tom Paris and Captain Janeway devolve into primitive newt-like creatures from an earlier stage
of human evolution. This episode has since been rendered non-canon by producers and fans alike.
Hyperspace (science fiction) 8

Star Wars
The computer role-playing game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic gives one of the more substantial
explanations of how hyperspace travel works in the Star Wars universe. There are established safe hyperspace routes
that were scouted out by an unknown species 25,000 years prior to the events in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
(1977). These routes made interstellar trade and eventually the establishment of the Republic 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, that is why Han Solo brags about the Millennium Falcon making
the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs 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 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 or R4-P9) or a navicomputer (navigational computer), although Jedi 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's journey from
Tatooine 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 took approximately seven hours to travel from Coruscant to Tatooine. 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'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 is class 1. The Death Star 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 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. If so, this ship could be considered class 0.5. 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.

In the Stargate universe, 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), or by the
Asgards would be significantly faster than a Goa'uld 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 having intergalactic hyperdrives are the Tau'ri (Earth, they use Asgard hyperdrives.), the Asgard, the
Hyperspace (science fiction) 9

Ancients/Alterans, the Asuran human-form Replicators, the Milky Way human-form replicators, the Ori and the
Most hyperdrives use the fictional Naquadah. Some, including Earth's, use the highly unstable isotope Naquadriah.
Ancient hyperdrives use power from a Zero Point Module. Asgard hyperdrives may utilize alternative materials.
Unlike hyperdrives used in other universes, Stargate hyperspace travel does not have to be navigated carefully and
does not interact with real space and so allows the ship to go straight through anything but black holes. The speed of
the hyperdrive can be increased by increasing its power by an external or internal source, or by modifying it
When the Daedalus was powered by standard naquadah reactors, it took three weeks to travel to Atlantis 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' 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 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
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, simpely named FTL. Much of its
workings have yet to be explained, but it is presumed inferior and slower than Hyperdrive.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy opens with the destruction of the planet Earth by Vogons in
order to "make way for a hyperspace bypass". Hyperspace travel is not described very clearly, however. The general
impression is that a ship travels for a short time along a bypass through an alternate dimension and emerges at its
destination. The sensation of hyperspace travel is described by Ford Prefect as "unpleasantly like being drunk."
When Arthur Dent asks why that is so bad, Prefect answers "You ask a glass of water." The experience is further
described in the narrative as follows:

At that moment, the bottom fell out of Arthur Dent's mind. His eyeballs turned inside out. His feet began to leak out the top of his head. The
room folded flat about Arthur, spun around, shifted out of existence and left him sliding into his own navel.

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".
Hyperspace (science fiction) 10

Macross and Robotech

In the Macross and also the Robotech universe, first introduced by the original 1982 Chou Jikuu Yousai Macross TV
series, 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 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's orbit along with the SDF-1 Macross. 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 TV series. In other entries in the Macross franchise, spacefolding seems
to be a bit more conventional. For instance, in Macross Plus, Isamu Dyson and Yang Neumann travel to Earth in a
Variable fighter modified with a space fold drive. There, the fold process seems to look like an iridescent tunnel
which the ship flies through.

The Voyage of the Star Wolf

An idea similar to hyperspace, called hyperstate, was introduced by David Gerrold in the novel The Voyage of the
Star Wolf (1990). In this setting starships used artificially-produced gravitational singularities (the space-time
distortions found at the center of black holes) 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.

Babylon 5
In the American science fiction television series Babylon 5 (1993–1998), hyperspace is treated as an alternate
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). 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 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.
Hyperspace (science fiction) 11

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

In the video game series Xenosaga (published 1998–) for the PlayStation 2 console, people routinely travel long
distances in space through hyperspace. Hyperspace in the Xenosaga universe is a realm of alternate space that looks
like a long tube or column similar to a wormhole. In this space a starship 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

Star Control II
In the computer game Star Control II, 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 fog coloured 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, 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,
Hyperspace (science fiction) 12

quasispace appears a harsh green with a negativity effect 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".

Sword of the Stars

In the computer game Sword of the Stars, 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
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.

Frontier universe
The Frontier universe of space trading/combat games Frontier: Elite II and First Encounters 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—in systems of one medium-sized star (such as Sol), typically around 10
astronomical units; 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, 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).
Hyperspace (science fiction) 13

Due to the danger of mutations 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 Culture
In The Culture 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 it is
described as being viewed from a ship as it flies through Hyperspace 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,
which is 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 to have "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".
All ships with hyperspace capabilities fly through by finding traction with its engine fields on. The irregularities in
the grid that are the waves, while 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 being like water spouts.
Ships are ordinarily unable to enter hyperspace whilst in a strong gravity well, however facing destruction during the
Culture/Indiran war of Consider Phlebas, a Culture Mind not only manages to navigate a gravity well, but also exits
hyperspace within the confines of a subsurface tunnel network.

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. Humanity 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, 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, 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 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 (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 now.
Hyperspace (science fiction) 14

Homeworld series
In the 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 which are connected to another with artificial hyperspace rifts. These Gates ' destination is fixed,
meaning that they can only be traversed to another, 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 leave 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 their own. However, if they are combined and synchronised, they can easily bypass multiple
black holes, evidenced, in Homeworld 2 when the Sajuuk (a god turned out to be a large and extremely potent
warship) jumped the entire Mothership Fleet from the dense black hole cluster of Balcora to Hiigara's orbit, a feat
unmatched by every ship in the galaxy (the fleet entered Balcora through a special Hyperspace Gate). Aside from
being a method of transportation, these Cores also form the Sajuuk's power source, tapping quantum energy from
hyperspace itself. The First was found by the Bentusi and put to good use onboard the Great Harborship of Bentus.
In the end, the Bentusii bestowed their Core Fragment on the Higaarans, by scuttling their mothership so that the
Core could be salvaged.
The Second was found in the wreckage of an unknown starship in the Great Wastelands. It was known that it was as
powerful and as capable as the Far Jumper used by the Bentusi. After extensive modifications it was mounted on the
Hiigaran flagship: Sajuuk's Wrath. After successful bombardment of the Taiidan homeworld the Galactic Council
demanded that the Hiigarans immediately turn the core over to the Bentusi, who were sent to confiscate the core. The
Hiigarans agreed, however when the Bentusi jumped in to capture the core, the whole hiigaran navy attacked the
Bentusi. After a long battle only Sajuuk's Wrath and Bentus were left. When the Sajuuk's Wrath's sublight engines
were destroyed, its captain jumped towards the Angel Moon, destroying the ship. It is unknown how the Core was
transported onto the Khar-Toba, but the Kushan recovered it from inside the ancient ship's remains, and after
extensive re-engineering it was mounted onboard their Mothership. After an initial test-jump-turned combat exercise,
they returned to a complete destroyed homeworld and scaffold. Because the mothership was unable to finish it´s
construction it was uable to move. In a war of aggression against the Taiidan they reclaimed Hiigara. When Hiigara
had been recaptured the Core was put into museum for 115 years, when it was placed inside the second Mothership,
The Pride of Hiigara to halt the Vaygr progress. However, the shipyard was ambushed, causing Karan to hyperspace
away in a hurry with the Pride not fully functional. The Core was finally removed from the Pride in Balcora, causing
the abandoned ship to finally lose power and plunge towards a black hole. it was then put into their new flagship
Sajuuk, as part of the trinity of Hyperspace Cores.
The Third Core drifted into the Eastern Fringes, found by the Vaygr. Using its power, Makaan united the Vaygr
Crusades into a formidable armada. He gradually advanced into Hiigaran space, tricking Karan to retrieve the
Gatekeeper of Sajuuk and enter Balcora. However, he was defeated there, enabling Karan to complete the Trinity and
become Sajuuk'khar, Manipulator of He Whose Hands Shape What Is. Using the Trinity, she jumped the whole fleet
from between black holes to Hiigaran orbit, defeating the remainder of the Vaygr fleet and their World Crushers with
the Phased Cannon Array of Sajuuk.
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
Hyperspace (science fiction) 15

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. During Homeworld, the Kushan
encountered many times when their hyperdrive was prevented from functioning properly. First, when they entered
the Great Nebula of Kadesh, the Kadeshi attacked them with impunity; when they tried to leave, the quantum
wavefront collapsed right after forming; it was revealed thet Kadeshi Needleships have built-in inhibitor systems to
trap prey from far away. When the Kushan forced the Kadeshi to retreat, they made one last attempt at destroying
them by using three Needleships, of which one is retreated after the other two were destroyed, leading to the
discovery that the Kadeshi are a Kushan offshoot. When the Mothership reached the Galactic Core, they were pulled
out of hyperspace by three gravity wells and a sizeable Taiidan fleet. A similar tactic was used later, except it was
one inhibitor inside a huge (1,000,000 ton), rocket-boosted and escorted asteroid aimed straight at the Mothership in
a last ditch effort to vaporize the mighty vessel with all 650,000 personnel aboard. As of the inhibitor network
around Hiigara, it was said to be able to prevent anyone from entering the system. If the emitters were so powerful,
then it is unclear how did the Mothership arrive so close to the least defended one that it was less than 10 minutes
away on conventional drives.
Another type of hyperdrive is the inertialess drive used onboard the Naggarok in Homeworld: Cataclysm, enabling
its impossible feats of achieving well over 5000 km/h from a standing stop in less than a second and fighter-like
maneuverability despite its size of more than 2 km long; although it is possible that the drive was not built with this
capabilities, only improved by the Beast to better suit its needs after the Taiidan repaired it. It is theorized by fans
that if a hyperdirve would be combined with a Keeper's phase drive, the resulting drive would achieve a similar
One thing about hyperspace brought up in Homeworld cataclysm is that there may exist biological lifeforms in the
"hyperspace dimension". this is seen when the Naggarok, a alien exploration vessel picked up a lifeform in
hyperspace using the inertialess drive almost coused the extinction of the human races.
Karan: "Priority alert! Hyperdrive malfunction detected. The quantum waveform is collapsing. Safety interrupt engaged. Prepare for
emergency return to normal space."

Sins of a Solar Empire

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 alternate 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
eliminating 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 Phase Stabilizer Node structure that allows ships to
travel between nodes as if there were a Phase Lane connecting the systems, and a cloaking upgrade that allows
certain ships to hide in phase space. Vasari logisistical structures can also raise a Phase Barrier to reduce damage.
Hyperspace (science fiction) 16

Early video games

Early video games in which hyperspace was featured include Asteroids, Star Raiders and Defender 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 a
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 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 fighters seen in Star Wars.

• seaQuest DSV
• Cowboy Bebop (anime)
• Doctor Who
• Homeworld
• Honorverse (series)
• Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis
• Space Runaway Ideon (In Space Runaway Ideon , the hyperspace is called null space)
• Farscape (A US sci-fi channel series featuring a faster-than-light travel method known as 'starburst')
• Halo (Xbox videogame as slipspace)
• Mass Effect (known as FTL travel)
• FreeSpace PC game series (known as "subspace")
• A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (children's book)
• Sonic X (anime) – second series (third season)
• Event Horizon (film)
• Animorphs Books and TV series (known as Zero-Space)
• OGame Browser game involving spaceships and travel through space – The hyperspace technology and
hyperspace propulsion are developments to do in order to unlock certain battle ships or defense cannons.
• The Culture, a civilisation featured in some of Iain M Banks's novels. Here, "hyperspace" and "warp" travel are
separate technologies.
• Gene Roddenberrys Andromeda has slipstream.
• Gradius Gaiden (As Hyperspace)
• Outlaw Star (TV series)

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). Popular names include warpspace, slipspace and subspace.
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
Hyperspace (science fiction) 17

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 ships have drastically more
accurate precision in this matter, along with exponentially faster speeds (336,000c). Halo: Contact Harvest describes
it as "If one imagined the universe as a sheet of paper, Slipspace was the same sheet of paper crumpled into a tight
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, 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 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 and Banner of the Stars series written by
Hiroyuki Morioka. 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
• Jumpgate
• Stargate
• Fourth dimension
• Spacecraft propulsion
• Wormholes
• Warp drive (Star Trek)
• Jump drive
• Hyperdrive
• Slipspace
• Boom Tube

Further reading
• Hyperspace by Michio Kaku (Anchor)
• Surfing through Hyperspace: Understanding Higher Universes in Six Easy Lessons (Oxford University Press) by
Clifford A. Pickover
• 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) [1])
Hyperspace (science fiction) 18

External links
• Hyperspace A Vanishing Act by P. Hoiland [2]
• SF Citations for OED [3] at
• Hyperspace in Science Fiction : The Astronomy Cafe - Dr. Sten Odenwald [4] at

[1] http:/ / books. google. de/ books?id=uefwmdROKTAC& pg=PA238& dq=hyperspace+ in+ science+ fiction&
[2] http:/ / doc. cern. ch/ / archive/ electronic/ other/ ext/ ext-2004-109. pdf
[3] http:/ / www. jessesword. com/ sf/ view/ 59
[4] http:/ / www. astronomycafe. net/ anthol/ scifi2. html
Article Sources and Contributors 19

Article Sources and Contributors

Hyperspace (science fiction)  Source:  Contributors: *Kat*, 12cool725, ABach, Aladdin Sane, Alai, Alaric Deschain, Albmont, Alex1011,
AlexHajnal, Andycjp, Anihl, Atomicthumbs, AvatarZero, Bam110, Ben Jos, Beverson, BinaryTed, Bisqwit, Bogdangiusca, Bosco13, Brian Sayrs, BronzeWarrior, Can't sleep, clown will eat me,
CheMechanical, Chupon, Cmdrjameson, Cowmageddon, CreedShandor, Csp4.0, D-Rock, D3bjorn, David G Brault, DavidK93, Davidpk212, Deckiller, Deewiant, Denorios, Discospinster,
Draffa, EEMIV, EdJogg, Ems57fcva, Epbr123, Esarai, EurekaLott, Eurosong, Eyclonus, FaeWolf, FastLizard4, Firsfron, Fnlayson, FrankWilliams, Frodet, FstrthnU, Gaius Cornelius,
Geneb1955, GoingBatty, Goodguy461, GregLoutsenko, Gunnar Larsson, GusF, Guthrie, Hibernian, Hotdogger, Hotel bravo kilo, Iceberg3k, InformationalAnarchist, Iridescent, Ithanyx,
J.J.Sagnella, JLaTondre, Jacopo, Jappalang, Jason Quinn, Jeff3000, Jeltz, Jla, John Doe or Jane Doe, John Smythe, JohnDBuell, JohnOwens, Johnny 0, Josh Parris, Juhachi, Jujutacular,
K1Bond007, KEJ, Kjoonlee, Kmhkmh, Kookyunii, Kuralyov, Kvn8907, Kyle C Haight, LOL, Lawyerdude, LilHelpa, Lord Hawk, LtNOWIS, LukeSurl, MakeRocketGoNow, Maldek™,
Martarius, Maxtitan, Mboverload, Mdd, Melaen, MementoVivere, Michael Hardy, Michal Nebyla, Miguel Andrade, Mipadi, MithrandirAgain, Montana's Defender, Mrzaius, Muad,
Mwsilvabreen, Nejee16, Neocapitalist, Neparis, Noconflicts, Nunki, OGoncho, Octane, Oerjan, Onionhound, Packinheat2u, Palendrom, Palfrey, Paulannis, Percy Snoodle, Philosopher,
Philwelch, PigFlu Oink, Pigman, Pjacobi, Portillo, QuantumEngineer, Quantumobserver, R'n'B, RedSpruce, RenJadahr, Rillian, Ripe, Ritchy, Rjwilmsi, Robert Fraser, RoyRedersn17, Ryan Roos,
S, SGCommand, Saberwyn, Saikage, Schol-R-LEA, Sengkang, Shadow demon, SigmaEpsilon, Siradia, Smeggysmeg, Sochwa, SuperN, TAnthony, TKarrde, Tabletop, Tangent747, The Gwai
Lo, The Wookieepedian, Thiseye, Tobyk777, Tregoweth, Trust Is All You Need, Ttonyb1, Valaggar, Vanished User 3388458, Wereon, Whooper, Wikiblurrr, Wikiwarlock, Williamskidfears,
Woohookitty, Zouavman Le Zouave, 425 anonymous edits

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