Space Travel.   Posted by The Archives.Group: public
The Archives
 GM, 2 posts
Mon 13 Oct 2014
at 20:02
Space Travel
Not every sentient species travels into space, but it seems that those who do often have different methods of doing so.

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:37, Fri 24 Oct 2014.

The Archives
 GM, 3 posts
Mon 13 Oct 2014
at 23:50
Wormholes
Scattered throughout the galaxy are naturally occurring wormholes.  They seem to be sensitive to gravitational forces and will collapse if the local gravity changes too much in a short period of time.  For this reason, they are often located outside the gravitational field of the nearby star.  Despite this instability, their existence helped increase the speed of exploration of the galaxy.  Left to warpdrives alone, it would have taken centuries longer to explore the area that has already been discovered.  Likewise, without wormholes, travel across the enormous empty regions of space would have been long and lonely.

Wormholes allow both energy and matter to pass through.  Matter attempting to pass through a wormhole must be traveling at subluminal (slower-than-light) speeds.  If a ship attempts to approach or pass through a wormhole at superluminal (faster-than-light) speeds, several events may occur.  The ship may simply pass through the wormhole unaffected and continue traveling in whatever direction it was already going.  This is the most common result.  Sometimes ships suffer damage when passing through wormholes at superluminal speeds.  This damage can range from minor electrical problems to catastrophic hull breaches.  It is also possible that the wormhole will simply close, potentially leaving parties on both sides stranded.

Modern space flight is as reliant on wormholes as it is on stardrives.  Methods are being researched to help stabilize wormholes.  Some researchers even claim that in the proper locations, wormholes would be relatively simple to open and maintain.  Where they may lead is unknown.

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:14, Tue 14 Oct 2014.

GM
 GM, 5 posts
Tue 14 Oct 2014
at 00:19
The Oprid and Generation Ships
The Oprid were the first to discover a wormhole near their home star thousands of years ago.  Since that time, they have become experts in detecting new wormholes throughout the galaxy.  They are the primary source of information regarding wormholes and they have many scientists working on the stabilization of existing wormholes.

Another field of space travel the Oprid are noted for are their subluminal, or maneuver, drives.  Specifically, they developed two types of antimatter engines.  The first is an antimatter thermal drive.  With this design, the antimatter is used to heat up normal matter into a plasma state, which is then used to provide a high amount of thrust.  This drive is most effective for use within star systems when precise maneuvers are important.  Onboard some ships is also an antimatter pion drive.  This drive combines equal parts of antimatter and matter (in small quantities) to produce an exhaust of extremely fast subatomic particles.  Though the the thermal drive provides more thrust, the antimatter pion drive is extremely fuel efficient.

The antimatter pion drive was used in generation ships constructed by the Oprid before the discovery of superluminal engines.  Generation ships were built to house several thousand individuals and provide everything they would need to make an often decades-long voyage to another star system.  During that time, life would take its normal course.  New children would be born, grow up and have their own children until the time came to disembark from the ship onto a new planet.  Some generation ships are still in use today as survey stations or outposts where a more permanent colony cannot be established.

(Being a chasing carnivore in their ancestral past, the Oprid had no illusions that the galaxy would be safe, hence they have some of the best weapons in the galaxy mounted on their ships)

The thought of being able to exceed the speed of light through the construction of an engine didn't occur to the Oprid until after they made contact with the Epsians, who were in the process of building a hyperspace drive.

This message was last edited by the GM at 05:52, Sat 01 Nov 2014.

The Archives
 GM, 7 posts
Tue 14 Oct 2014
at 18:53
The Epsians and Hyperspace
Being a flying species, the Epsians had dreamed of going to space for centuries.  It was the ultimate flight habitat.  Their societies developed many different types of ships and drives long before they became a unified people under one planetary government.  Most of these ships were tiny, highly maneuverable craft that required only a few crew members and lots of chemical fuel.  The cost of building these ships and refueling was mediated by the construction of multiple space elevators, or "Old Trees" in the closest English translation.

Upon unification of their people, the Epsians started a massive endeavor: the creation of a hyperspace drive.  This drive would take a ship and shift it into hyperspace, an entirely different universe with some different physical laws.  By manipulating the quantum state of axions, the ship would be able to "shift" into this other universe, hyperspace, and travel through it as a ship would travel through normal space.  After traveling a certain distance, it would shift back, having traveled light-years in a fraction of the time it would have in our universe, or real space.  The ship also needs an energy shield to travel through hyperspace, and that is usually accomplished turning tritronite, exotic matter in the form of metal crystals, into a gas.

The Oprid made contact with the Epsians several years before the completion of their hyperspace drive.  An exchange of information, technology, and culture occurred between the two species and the Epsians agreed to allow the Oprid to help them with construction efforts and gave them the rights to control the technology in return for protection from potentially hostile threats that exist in the galaxy.

There is one unexpected and serious drawback with hyperspatial travel, however.  Hyperspace seems to react to the thoughts and emotions of sentient beings.  If a crew is not careful, they run the risk of forming their own demise.  Additionally, whole sectors of hyperspace may be untraversable due to events occurring in our universe.  For example, if an inhabited planet comes under attack or suffers disaster, their emotions may translate over to hyperspace and make part of it impossible, or at least very dangerous, to pass through.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:40, Tue 14 Oct 2014.

The Archives
 GM, 8 posts
Tue 14 Oct 2014
at 20:09
The Humans and Blink-Warp
In comparison to hyperdrives, the blink-warp drive first conceived by humans was much safer and more reliable, though much slower as well.  Instead of relying on shifting matter to another universe, humans created a drive that would shift the geometry of our universe so it appears that a ship is moving at superluminal speeds.  The first of these ships, the Enterprise, was completed in 2173 by the Unity of Nations, the first true world government on Earth.

The drive uses a combination of tritronite and antimatter to create a quark-gluon plasma that results in the creation of an energy field that then compresses and expands the geometry of space.  A bubble around the ship allows the ship to travel at normal speeds through compressed space, giving it the appearance to outside observers that it is traveling at superluminal speeds.  Anyone inside the warp bubble feels no inertial effects, however.  To reduce the energy demand for such an operation, the warp drive operates for just a couple seconds at a time before space is allowed to return to its "normal" geometry.  The next jump can be taken as soon as a few nanoseconds later, but the break between jumps is necessary.

Unlike the hyperdrive, the operators of a blink-warp drive must be aware of obstacles in real space.  Whereas a ship with a hyperdrive can take a "straight" path to its destination, a ship attempting to do so with a blink-warp drive runs the risk of collision with other objects or forces in space.  This is particularly relevant inside star systems.

The first blink-warp drives took humans to nearly a dozen different star systems before the Oprid made contact.  The Oprid had been using a combination of wormhole travel and hyperspace travel to explore the galaxy up to that point.  After humans agreed to become part of the Ascendancy, the Oprid began using the blink-warp drive in many of their ships.  With a multitude of improvements, the speed of the blink-warp drive has increased significantly.  It is still slower than a hyperdrive, but it is also much more predictable.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:38, Tue 14 Oct 2014.

The Archives
 GM, 11 posts
Wed 15 Oct 2014
at 18:40
Re: The Humans and Blink-Warp
The drives and techniques developed by humans, epsians, and the oprid are the most common drives to be found in starships at this point in time.  Other drives may exist and be used in limited circumstances.