Faster Than Light (FTL) Travel

FTL, or faster-than-light, travel is the ability to travel at superliminal speeds. It is notable for being the field that was changed most by the Enlightenment, along with FTL communications, as superluminal travel was directly in conflict with pre-Enlightenment physics.

Faster than light travel is achieved by displacing the area of spacetime surrounding a jumpdrive a given distance in a given direction. The speed of a jump is measured by how long it takes for the displaced region to arrive at its destination, as the process of displacement stops the flow of time in any region being displaced. The destination of a jump is strongly affected by both gravity wells and the routes of other jumps, being attracted the both. This necessitates star charts for accurate jumps.

The Timeout-effect causes several problems for superluminal travel, as no time passes for a vessel in transit, it is impossible to make course adjustments or observation while travelling, a major contributing factor to jump deviation. It is for this reason that any jump needs to be carefully plotted before it is executed, as there is literally no time to make any adjustments on the go.

The following table provides a rough estimate of travel speeds.

—- Early drives (2500) modern drives (4500)
Initial mapping 0.1ly/d or 36.5c 1ly/d or 365c
Unassisted jump 1ly/d or 365c 10ly/d or 3650c
Basic map 5ly/d or 1825c 50ly/d or 18250c
Detailed map 10ly/d or 3650c 100ly/d or 36500c
Jump Gate n/a 500ly/d or 182500c