History Main / FasterThanLightTravel

15th Jul '17 10:27:45 AM Pseudoname
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* ''VideoGame/{{Evolve}}'' has Cherenkov space, an alternate dimension ships equipped with Patterson drives can "dive" into, though reemerging requires a connection to a dive anchor in realspace. While this was little more than background lore initially, it ends up being important, as it's revealed that [[spoiler: the human dimension isn't the only one connected to Cherenkov space and the monsters use it as a stepping stone to get from their dimension to the human's]].
13th Jul '17 3:14:36 AM Doug86
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Whatever the nature and form of FTL travel, many works will try to come up with some appropriately snappy name for it. The most generic term for an FTL drive is probably the "hyperdrive", but many books and series come up with their own terminology. It should be noted that any particular name used for FTL travel does not necessarily have to correspond to a specific means of travel as described earlier in this article. In ''Franchise/StarTrek'' the Warp Drive is of course just a warp drive, but in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' the "Warp" is the poster-child for HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace, for example. Similarly, ''BabylonFive'' used the term "Jump Drive" to describe moving in and out of an alternative dimension, hyperspace, where ships could cross interstellar distances in a short time, rather than instantaneous travel between two points in real-space. Different stories' FTL drives should be distinguished by their effects, not simply their names.

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Whatever the nature and form of FTL travel, many works will try to come up with some appropriately snappy name for it. The most generic term for an FTL drive is probably the "hyperdrive", but many books and series come up with their own terminology. It should be noted that any particular name used for FTL travel does not necessarily have to correspond to a specific means of travel as described earlier in this article. In ''Franchise/StarTrek'' the Warp Drive is of course just a warp drive, but in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' the "Warp" is the poster-child for HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace, for example. Similarly, ''BabylonFive'' ''Series/BabylonFive'' used the term "Jump Drive" to describe moving in and out of an alternative dimension, hyperspace, where ships could cross interstellar distances in a short time, rather than instantaneous travel between two points in real-space. Different stories' FTL drives should be distinguished by their effects, not simply their names.



FasterThanLightTravel is generally considered a [[AcceptableBreaksFromReality necessary break]] from physics if you want to have a SpaceOpera (though this was much less true in TheGoldenAgeOfScienceFiction, when it could still be safely assumed that [[ScienceMarchesOn alien civilizations flourished as nearby as Mars, Venus, or even the Moon).]] A more extreme version, found in Space Operas and other places, is CasualInterstellarTravel. A setting without Faster Than Light Travel involving a trip between planets, usually in a single star system, is an InterplanetaryVoyage.

Similarly, FasterThanLightTravel is usually [[WeWillUseManualLaborInTheFuture a technology that cannot operate without the presence of plot-relevant individuals]], as it's [[AnthropicPrinciple hard to tell entertaining stories about unmanned probes]] - all RealLife space exploration is done thus, and [[IWantMyJetpack holds interest for relatively few people]].

A related trope is the SubspaceAnsible, which allows ships to send messages at superluminal speeds without having to send their engines along with them; this trope will usually be found alongside FasterThanLightTravel, though there are exceptions (for example, ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'', ''Literature/HonorHarrington'', and the ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'' have FTL travel but no ansibles, and ''Literature/EndersGame'' has ansibles but no FTL travel — though the series that inspired it, UrsulaKLeGuin's ''Hainish Cycle'', ''did'' have FTL travel in addition to ansibles, it was just that humans couldn't survive it.).

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FasterThanLightTravel Faster-Than-Light Travel is generally considered a [[AcceptableBreaksFromReality necessary break]] from physics if you want to have a SpaceOpera (though this was much less true in TheGoldenAgeOfScienceFiction, when it could still be safely assumed that [[ScienceMarchesOn alien civilizations flourished as nearby as Mars, Venus, or even the Moon).]] A more extreme version, found in Space Operas and other places, is CasualInterstellarTravel. A setting without Faster Than Light Travel involving a trip between planets, usually in a single star system, is an InterplanetaryVoyage.

Similarly, FasterThanLightTravel Faster-Than-Light Travel is usually [[WeWillUseManualLaborInTheFuture a technology that cannot operate without the presence of plot-relevant individuals]], as it's [[AnthropicPrinciple hard to tell entertaining stories about unmanned probes]] - all RealLife space exploration is done thus, and [[IWantMyJetpack holds interest for relatively few people]].

A related trope is the SubspaceAnsible, which allows ships to send messages at superluminal speeds without having to send their engines along with them; this trope will usually be found alongside FasterThanLightTravel, Faster-Than-Light Travel, though there are exceptions (for example, ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'', ''Literature/HonorHarrington'', and the ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'' have FTL travel but no ansibles, and ''Literature/EndersGame'' has ansibles but no FTL travel — though the series that inspired it, UrsulaKLeGuin's Creator/UrsulaKLeGuin's ''Hainish Cycle'', ''did'' have FTL travel in addition to ansibles, it was just that humans couldn't survive it.).



Both these tropes have many of the same difficulties with known physics as FasterThanLightTravel itself. Beyond the simple fact that relativity implies it's impossible, it also shows that something travelling faster than light must appear to some observers to be travelling backwards in time, and even being able to send information backwards in time produces logical difficulties like the GrandfatherParadox.

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Both these tropes have many of the same difficulties with known physics as FasterThanLightTravel Faster-Than-Light Travel itself. Beyond the simple fact that relativity implies it's impossible, it also shows that something travelling traveling faster than light must appear to some observers to be travelling traveling backwards in time, and even being able to send information backwards in time produces logical difficulties like the GrandfatherParadox.



This only holds true for the speed of light in a vacuum. Photons travelling through various translucent gaseous, crystalline or liquid media move at large fractions of the speed of light. However, other particles may move faster than these photons, leading to phenomena such as [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherenkov_radiation Cherenkov radiation.]] Despite its speed light imparts very little impact due to light having negligible mass - remember you yourself block the light slamming into you at that speed and create a shadow with no ill effects.

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This only holds true for the speed of light in a vacuum. Photons travelling traveling through various translucent gaseous, crystalline or liquid media move at large fractions of the speed of light. However, other particles may move faster than these photons, leading to phenomena such as [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherenkov_radiation Cherenkov radiation.]] Despite its speed light imparts very little impact due to light having negligible mass - remember you yourself block the light slamming into you at that speed and create a shadow with no ill effects.



* In ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds'', played straight in episode 145 after Yusei defeats [[spoiler:Antinomy/Bruno]] they both end up being trapped within the black hole created earlier (which is itself impossible). After an emotional speech by [[spoiler:Antinomy/Bruno]], he proceeds to adjust his D-wheel and push it into Yusei's to gain enough escape velocity (also impossible once inside the event horizon) and/or open up a hyperdrive window. The title of the episode itself [[FasterThanLightTravel "Faster than Light!"]] perhaps lampshaded this trope.
* ''Anime/LilyCAT'' still has the journey to their destination taking twenty years both ways, thus necessitating a SleeperStarship.

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* In ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds'', played straight in episode 145 after Yusei defeats [[spoiler:Antinomy/Bruno]] they both end up being trapped within the black hole created earlier (which is itself impossible). After an emotional speech by [[spoiler:Antinomy/Bruno]], he proceeds to adjust his D-wheel and push it into Yusei's to gain enough escape velocity (also impossible once inside the event horizon) and/or open up a hyperdrive window. The title of the episode itself [[FasterThanLightTravel "Faster ("Faster than Light!"]] Light!") perhaps lampshaded this trope.
trope.
* ''Anime/LilyCAT'' still has the journey to their destination taking twenty years both ways, thus necessitating a SleeperStarship.



* DC Comics uses this every so often. A notable example is how [[GreenLantern Kyle Rayner]] has traversed the entire universe in a span of a few months, as well as traveling back and forth between Oa and Earth multiple times. Other Lanterns have done the same, but not nearly as much as Kyle has.

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* DC Comics uses this every so often. A notable example is how [[GreenLantern [[Franchise/GreenLantern Kyle Rayner]] has traversed the entire universe in a span of a few months, as well as traveling back and forth between Oa and Earth multiple times. Other Lanterns have done the same, but not nearly as much as Kyle has.



* TheFlash has done this more than once.
* Superman routinely could fly faster than the speed of light between the late GoldenAge through the end of UsefulNotes/{{the Bronze Age|OfComicBooks}}, usually to travel across space. Said ability was also used (similar to the Flash's means) to allow Superman to travel through time. ComicBook/PostCrisis, Superman was usually limited to sublight speeds, though some stories seemed to forget/ignore this and show him flying across vast distances of space without anyone on Earth noticing an absurdly-long absence.
** An 80s Superboy story shows him making use of a wormhole early in his career to fly across space.

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* TheFlash Franchise/TheFlash has done this more than once.
* Superman Franchise/{{Superman}} routinely could fly faster than the speed of light between the late GoldenAge through the end of UsefulNotes/{{the Bronze Age|OfComicBooks}}, usually to travel across space. Said ability was also used (similar to the Flash's means) to allow Superman to travel through time. ComicBook/PostCrisis, Superman was usually limited to sublight speeds, though some stories seemed to forget/ignore this and show him flying across vast distances of space without anyone on Earth noticing an absurdly-long absence.
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** An 80s Superboy story shows him making use of a wormhole early in his career to fly across space.



* The 1980's British science fiction comic ''Starblazer'' had a wide variety of star drives in its stories, including warp drives and warp gates, traveling through hyperspace with hyperdrives, using natural wormholes, Worm Hole Drive (creating artificial wormholes) and Omega Drive (artificially created black holes).
* In ''ComicBook/TankVixens'' the "Credibilty Drive" relies on the crew being [[ItRunsOnNonsensoleum gullible enough to warp the universe]]. It's really just a dressed-up VCR that plays a video of hyperspace lines on the monitors followed by their destination. However, when a tape of ''GoneWithTheWind'' is played by accident they end up TrappedInTVLand.

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* The 1980's 1980s British science fiction comic ''Starblazer'' had a wide variety of star drives in its stories, including warp drives and warp gates, traveling through hyperspace with hyperdrives, using natural wormholes, Worm Hole Drive (creating artificial wormholes) and Omega Drive (artificially created black holes).
* In ''ComicBook/TankVixens'' the "Credibilty Drive" relies on the crew being [[ItRunsOnNonsensoleum gullible enough to warp the universe]]. It's really just a dressed-up VCR that plays a video of hyperspace lines on the monitors followed by their destination. However, when a tape of ''GoneWithTheWind'' ''Film/GoneWithTheWind'' is played by accident they end up TrappedInTVLand.



* Similarly, in the ''Film/TheFifthElement'' we see a commercial starship that "jumps to lightspeed" in order to travel to another solar system, and like the Alien films, they put the passengers to sleep during the voyage. Also [[spoiler:the mass of evil manages to travel from another solar system to Earth in ''just 2 hours''. Mind that the heroes also manage to arrive to Earth from lightyears away ''just'' a little earlier...]] The sleeping-while-in-hyperspace thing is HandWaved as being "for your comfort," so perhaps in the Fifth Element 'verse HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace for the conscious mind? Though the crew, Ruby Rhod, and Cornelius seem unaffected.

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* Similarly, in the ''Film/TheFifthElement'' we see a commercial starship that "jumps to lightspeed" in order to travel to another solar system, and like the Alien films, they put the passengers to sleep during the voyage. Also [[spoiler:the mass of evil manages to travel from another solar system to Earth in ''just 2 hours''. Mind that the heroes also manage to arrive to Earth from lightyears away ''just'' a little earlier...]] The sleeping-while-in-hyperspace thing is HandWaved {{Hand Wave}}d as being "for your comfort," so perhaps in the Fifth Element 'verse HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace for the conscious mind? Though the crew, Ruby Rhod, and Cornelius seem unaffected.



* In ''Film/MoscowCassiopeia'', they manage to achieve this when the local troublemaker accidentally sits on the controls, travelling a 200+ year journey in less than a minute. The people on Earth have 27 years passing normally, except for being unable to contact the ship the entire time. It is suggested they entered some form of [[SubspaceOrHyperspace subspace, hyperspace]], or “tachyon spiral”. However in real life physics, that's exactly what you get when you travel at a very relativistic but still subluminal speed.

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* In ''Film/MoscowCassiopeia'', they manage to achieve this when the local troublemaker accidentally sits on the controls, travelling traveling a 200+ year journey in less than a minute. The people on Earth have 27 years passing normally, except for being unable to contact the ship the entire time. It is suggested they entered some form of [[SubspaceOrHyperspace subspace, hyperspace]], or “tachyon spiral”. However in real life physics, that's exactly what you get when you travel at a very relativistic but still subluminal speed.



* Joe Haldeman's ''Literature/TheForeverWar'' uses "collapsars" (an old name for black holes) to instantaneously jump up to thousands of lightyears to the next collapsar along the ship's vector at entry. Unfortunately most collapsars are far from any inhabitable system, the nearest one to earth, "Stargate", is one lightyear away, so starships still need to spend several years at relativistic speeds. This adds up to enough time to make you poor because of inflation while simultaneously having enough dosh to swim in, and massive sociological upheval.

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* Joe Haldeman's ''Literature/TheForeverWar'' uses "collapsars" (an old name for black holes) to instantaneously jump up to thousands of lightyears to the next collapsar along the ship's vector at entry. Unfortunately most collapsars are far from any inhabitable system, the nearest one to earth, "Stargate", is one lightyear away, so starships still need to spend several years at relativistic speeds. This adds up to enough time to make you poor because of inflation while simultaneously having enough dosh to swim in, and massive sociological upheval.upheaval.



** In fact, jump drives in this universe seem to obey a consistent mixture of the typical FasterThanLightTravel options. Jumps have to be done from and to specific areas - the 'Jump Range', far enough from the mass of the star or brown dwarf not to interfere in the jump. When you reach the other end, the mass of your destination star brings you back out of jump. It's implied that messing up your calculation on targeting that destination is a bad idea. Other ships moving in the same frame of space/time relevance to you can throw your jump out - on one occasion nearly throwing a starship into Epsilon Eridani. However, the ship doesn't actually exist in real space between the two points.

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** In fact, jump drives in this universe seem to obey a consistent mixture of the typical FasterThanLightTravel Faster-Than-Light Travel options. Jumps have to be done from and to specific areas - the 'Jump Range', far enough from the mass of the star or brown dwarf not to interfere in the jump. When you reach the other end, the mass of your destination star brings you back out of jump. It's implied that messing up your calculation on targeting that destination is a bad idea. Other ships moving in the same frame of space/time relevance to you can throw your jump out - on one occasion nearly throwing a starship into Epsilon Eridani. However, the ship doesn't actually exist in real space between the two points.



** In the first ''Literature/{{Ringworld}}'' novel, the Quantum II hyperdrive is described as being much faster. However, it's also AwesomeButImpractical, as it's size means that it leaves almost no space in even the largest General Products hulls, making it useless for trade or warfare.

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** In the first ''Literature/{{Ringworld}}'' novel, the Quantum II hyperdrive is described as being much faster. However, it's also AwesomeButImpractical, as it's its size means that it leaves almost no space in even the largest General Products hulls, making it useless for trade or warfare.



** Local-space travel, both in and out of hyper, uses a gravity-manipulating drive that has the extra bonus of allowing its users to behave as if [[SpaceIsAnOcean they were really seagoing vessels]] - this is a bonus because, for Honor Harrington, read "HoratioHornblower".

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** Local-space travel, both in and out of hyper, uses a gravity-manipulating drive that has the extra bonus of allowing its users to behave as if [[SpaceIsAnOcean they were really seagoing vessels]] - this is a bonus because, for Honor Harrington, read "HoratioHornblower"."Literature/HoratioHornblower".



* In Creator/VernorVinge's ''Literature/AFireUponTheDeep'', ships use the "stutter drive" variant -- a Jump Drive that makes (comparatively) short jumps, but at a rate of many jumps each second, resulting in a seemingly smooth journey for the passengers. This shapes [[StandardStarshipScuffle space combat]] in the setting -- warships maneuver by trying to synchronise or de-synchronize their jumps with those of nearby enemy ships. Because of the weirdness of the ''Literature/ZonesOfThought'' that form a major part of this book's universe, how quickly the drive works -- and whether it works ''at all'' -- depends on where in the Galaxy one attempts to use it. In the region that includes our Earth, the laws of nature seem to work as we believe they do today, and faster than light travel is still quite impossible.

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* In Creator/VernorVinge's ''Literature/AFireUponTheDeep'', ships use the "stutter drive" variant -- a Jump Drive that makes (comparatively) short jumps, but at a rate of many jumps each second, resulting in a seemingly smooth journey for the passengers. This shapes [[StandardStarshipScuffle space combat]] in the setting -- warships maneuver by trying to synchronise synchronize or de-synchronize their jumps with those of nearby enemy ships. Because of the weirdness of the ''Literature/ZonesOfThought'' that form a major part of this book's universe, how quickly the drive works -- and whether it works ''at all'' -- depends on where in the Galaxy one attempts to use it. In the region that includes our Earth, the laws of nature seem to work as we believe they do today, and faster than light travel is still quite impossible.



* In ''HisMajestysStarship'', the aliens possess a "step-through" drive, which relies on the theory that atom-sized wormholes are constantly appearing and disappearing all around us. The step-through drive finds one that leads to where you want to go, expands it to the size of a ship, and holds it open long enough for everyone to step through. For an added bonus, once the wormhole is open, ships without step-through drives (ie human ships) can use it.

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* In ''HisMajestysStarship'', ''Literature/HisMajestysStarship'', the aliens possess a "step-through" drive, which relies on the theory that atom-sized wormholes are constantly appearing and disappearing all around us. The step-through drive finds one that leads to where you want to go, expands it to the size of a ship, and holds it open long enough for everyone to step through. For an added bonus, once the wormhole is open, ships without step-through drives (ie human ships) can use it.



* In Creator/JohnMeaney's ''Literature/ToHoldInfinity'' and ''Literature/NulapeironSequence'' trilogy, interstellar voyages are achieved by travelling through mu-space, which is [[AlienGeometries fractal in structure]], and in order to navigate it, the first generation of pilots had to have [[EyeScream their eyes removed]] so that the mu-space navigation equipment could be connected to the visual cortex.

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* In Creator/JohnMeaney's ''Literature/ToHoldInfinity'' and ''Literature/NulapeironSequence'' trilogy, interstellar voyages are achieved by travelling traveling through mu-space, which is [[AlienGeometries fractal in structure]], and in order to navigate it, the first generation of pilots had to have [[EyeScream their eyes removed]] so that the mu-space navigation equipment could be connected to the visual cortex.



* The ''Literature/YoungWizards'' series has worldgates. they are essentially stargates that come in wizard created versions and manually designed/natural phenomenon. Usually nearly instantaneous, when the distances are too large, it can cause nausea and unconsciousness in humanoids.
* In the ''Literature/JacobsLadderTrilogy'', ''Jacob's Ladder'' is a GenerationShip which travels at sublight speed. However, faster-than-light travel is introduced in the third book, [[spoiler:invented on Earth and used by a different set of colonists to reach their destination world first]].

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* The ''Literature/YoungWizards'' series has worldgates. they worldgates, which are essentially stargates that come in wizard created wizard-created versions and manually designed/natural phenomenon. Usually nearly instantaneous, when the distances are too large, it can cause nausea and unconsciousness in humanoids.
* In the ''Literature/JacobsLadderTrilogy'', ''Jacob's Ladder'' is a GenerationShip [[GenerationShips Generation Ship]] which travels at sublight speed. However, faster-than-light travel is introduced in the third book, [[spoiler:invented on Earth and used by a different set of colonists to reach their destination world first]].



* Marcin Podlewski's duology ''Depth'' is named after a subspace that can be "jumped into" with the use of deep drives. In theory, Depth can instantly connect any two points in the universe, but due to immense power and navigational calculations required to perform a jump, the most commonly practiced limit is travelling 15 light years per jump. The technology also has various limiations that have to be taken into account when planning a journey; the main one being that living beings have to be rendered unconscious using Stasis drug for the duration of the jump, as travelling through Depth awake almost always drives organic lifeforms insane.

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* Marcin Podlewski's duology ''Depth'' is named after a subspace that can be "jumped into" with the use of deep drives. In theory, Depth can instantly connect any two points in the universe, but due to immense power and navigational calculations required to perform a jump, the most commonly practiced limit is travelling traveling 15 light years per jump. The technology also has various limiations limitations that have to be taken into account when planning a journey; the main one being that living beings have to be rendered unconscious using Stasis drug for the duration of the jump, as travelling traveling through Depth awake almost always drives organic lifeforms insane.



** Interestingly, a conversation between the ship's navigator and one of the (illusory) survivors of a crashed ship in the first pilot suggests that the ''Enterprise'' is one of a few new ships that "broke the time barrier" but that older Drives involve time dilation. Obviously later ''StarTrek'' contradicted this by introducing Zephram Cochrane, the inventor of Warp Drive, a 21st century human.

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** Interestingly, a conversation between the ship's navigator and one of the (illusory) survivors of a crashed ship in the first pilot suggests that the ''Enterprise'' is one of a few new ships that "broke the time barrier" but that older Drives involve time dilation. Obviously later ''StarTrek'' ''Star Trek'' contradicted this by introducing Zephram Cochrane, the inventor of Warp Drive, a 21st century human.



* In ''Series/RedDwarf'', the ship explicitly breaks the light barrier at least once, and implicitly does so many times (as they are seen travelling between star systems in very short periods of time), but no attempt is ever made to explain how this is done.

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* In ''Series/RedDwarf'', the ship explicitly breaks the light barrier at least once, and implicitly does so many times (as they are seen travelling traveling between star systems in very short periods of time), but no attempt is ever made to explain how this is done.



* ''Series/{{Space 1999}}'' was entirely due to SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: The MOON gets blasted out of not only Earth orbit, but the Solar System due to a frickin' EXPLOSION (somehow without being blasted apart by it), and is left TravellingAtTheSpeedOfPlot, such that it hangs around in the vicinity of an interesting planet just long enough for the crew to fix whatever is wrong with it and fail to settle there, and STILL get to the next star system by next week's episode.

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* ''Series/{{Space 1999}}'' was entirely due to SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: The MOON gets blasted out of not only Earth orbit, but the Solar System due to a frickin' EXPLOSION (somehow without being blasted apart by it), and is left TravellingAtTheSpeedOfPlot, TravelingAtTheSpeedOfPlot, such that it hangs around in the vicinity of an interesting planet just long enough for the crew to fix whatever is wrong with it and fail to settle there, and STILL get to the next star system by next week's episode.



** The most common form of FTL is achieved by traveling through the Warp, [[HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace a nightmarish dimension]] [[TheHeartless where the thoughts and emotions of sentient creatures give rise to]] [[GodOfEvil dark gods]] [[LegionsOfHell and hordes of]] [[EldritchAbomination gibbering monstrosities]]. As such, ships require {{force field}}s to (hopefully) keep the crew from being eaten by daemons during Warp-jumps, and it takes members of a caste of psychic mutants called Navigators to pilot ships through the Immaterium. Since the Warp doesn't obey the laws of physics, vessels traveling through it move much faster than they would in realspace, but the exact ratio is fluid - sometimes a day in the Warp is equal to just under two weeks' travel in the material universe, while in other cases starships are lost for thousands of years, or [[TimeTravel emerge before they've left]]. Some charts even indicate that it's faster to travel across the galaxy than it is to hop to an adjacent sector. Further complicating matters are "currents" or "storms" in the Warp that can displace or destroy vessels, and unfortunately the only navigational aid is a psychic beacon on [[EarthIsTheCenterOfTheUniverse Holy Terra]] [[PoweredByAForsakenChild powered by the souls of thousands of psykers]], which has been known to flicker and dim on occasion.

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** The most common form of FTL is achieved by traveling through the Warp, [[HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace a nightmarish dimension]] [[TheHeartless where the thoughts and emotions of sentient creatures give rise to]] [[GodOfEvil dark gods]] [[LegionsOfHell [[TheLegionsOfHell and hordes of]] [[EldritchAbomination gibbering monstrosities]]. As such, ships require {{force field}}s to (hopefully) keep the crew from being eaten by daemons during Warp-jumps, and it takes members of a caste of psychic mutants called Navigators to pilot ships through the Immaterium. Since the Warp doesn't obey the laws of physics, vessels traveling through it move much faster than they would in realspace, but the exact ratio is fluid - sometimes a day in the Warp is equal to just under two weeks' travel in the material universe, while in other cases starships are lost for thousands of years, or [[TimeTravel emerge before they've left]]. Some charts even indicate that it's faster to travel across the galaxy than it is to hop to an adjacent sector. Further complicating matters are "currents" or "storms" in the Warp that can displace or destroy vessels, and unfortunately the only navigational aid is a psychic beacon on [[EarthIsTheCenterOfTheUniverse Holy Terra]] [[PoweredByAForsakenChild powered by the souls of thousands of psykers]], which has been known to flicker and dim on occasion.



* The ''TabletopGame/{{Rifts}}: Phase World'' expansion setting has FTL drives directly effected by gravity, with the drives' maximum speed increasing the fewer gravitational influences there are on the trip. This has the effect of making travel between three local ''galaxies'' just as fast as traveling through the galaxies themselves, since there aren't as many stars slowing you down on the way.

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* The ''TabletopGame/{{Rifts}}: Phase World'' expansion setting has FTL drives directly effected affected by gravity, with the drives' maximum speed increasing the fewer gravitational influences there are on the trip. This has the effect of making travel between three local ''galaxies'' just as fast as traveling through the galaxies themselves, since there aren't as many stars slowing you down on the way.



* ''TabletopGame/FadingSuns'': Travel between solar systems is accomplished through [[PortalNetwork a network of Jumpgates]] left behind by [[{{Precursors}} the Ur]]. No other method is possible, since any ships travelling through interstellar space is inevitably eaten by [[TheLegionsOfHell Daemons]] and [[EldritchAbomination Void Krakens]]. [[FridgeLogic Which of course raises the question]] of how the Gates got there in the first place.

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* ''TabletopGame/FadingSuns'': Travel between solar systems is accomplished through [[PortalNetwork a network of Jumpgates]] left behind by [[{{Precursors}} the Ur]]. No other method is possible, since any ships travelling traveling through interstellar space is inevitably eaten by [[TheLegionsOfHell Daemons]] and [[EldritchAbomination Void Krakens]]. [[FridgeLogic Which of course raises the question]] of how the Gates got there in the first place.



* The ''IndependenceWar'' series averts this with both of it's main means of interstellar travel: the Linear Displacement System (LDS) drive, which is used for inter-system travel and is ''not'' faster-than-light (the very best LDS drives can only approach 99% of lightspeed under ideal conditions), and the capsule drive, which is used to jump (i.e. teleport) between solar systems at linked Lagrange points through generating "capsules" of space-time separate from main space-time. The former can be disabled for a short time by [=LDSi=] missiles to prevent ships from escaping (to the point where it's the only weapon with a dedicated hotkey), or by space stations or Lagrange points that generate inhibitor fields.

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* The ''IndependenceWar'' series averts this with both of it's its main means of interstellar travel: the Linear Displacement System (LDS) drive, which is used for inter-system travel and is ''not'' faster-than-light (the very best LDS drives can only approach 99% of lightspeed under ideal conditions), and the capsule drive, which is used to jump (i.e. teleport) between solar systems at linked Lagrange points through generating "capsules" of space-time separate from main space-time. The former can be disabled for a short time by [=LDSi=] missiles to prevent ships from escaping (to the point where it's the only weapon with a dedicated hotkey), or by space stations or Lagrange points that generate inhibitor fields.



** The [[{{Precursors}} Forerunners]] had fabricated an even more refined system of slipstream travel. In addition to the staggering 2,300 light-years per day during transit, the Forerunners maintained a galaxy-wide network of slipstream portals, streamlining space travel. They also used slipstream for other purposes besides space travel, such as storing a full-sized dyson sphere measuring 2 AU - three hunded million kilometers, twice the distance of the Sun from the Earth - in a quantum slipstream bubble barely a few centimeters across, itself buried in the heart of ''another'' dyson sphere.

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** The [[{{Precursors}} Forerunners]] had fabricated an even more refined system of slipstream travel. In addition to the staggering 2,300 light-years per day during transit, the Forerunners maintained a galaxy-wide network of slipstream portals, streamlining space travel. They also used slipstream for other purposes besides space travel, such as storing a full-sized dyson sphere measuring 2 AU - three hunded hundred million kilometers, twice the distance of the Sun from the Earth - in a quantum slipstream bubble barely a few centimeters across, itself buried in the heart of ''another'' dyson sphere. sphere.



* Ships in the ''[[Videogame/{{X}} X-Universe]]'' traditionally rely on the [[PreCursors Ancient's]] [[PortalNetwork jumpgate network]] for travel. Jumpdrives are a (relatively) recent invention that allows ships to force open a local wormhole. However, the wormhole is only capable of locking onto existing jumpgates, the justification being that it uses the gates to obtain coordinates to jump to. Which gate connects to which has a way of shifting around due to the [[{{Precursors}} Ancients']] meddling. The Terrans are the only race to have developed their own wormhole gates without any help from the Ancients and theirs function without any abnormalities during the jumping interval. The [[HordeOfAlienLocusts Kha'ak]] are the only ones who can jump ([[BlindJump accurately, at least]]) without gates. The lack of true, independent FTL or true {{Subspace Ansible}}s bites civilization in the ass when the non-Terran jump gate network is shut down following the [[GuiltFreeExterminationWar apocalyptic Second Terraformer War]], causing interstellar governments to effectively dissolve instantaneously, leaving behind isolated remnants trapped in hundreds of {{Lost Colony}}s

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* Ships in the ''[[Videogame/{{X}} X-Universe]]'' traditionally rely on the [[PreCursors Ancient's]] [[PortalNetwork jumpgate network]] for travel. Jumpdrives are a (relatively) recent invention that allows ships to force open a local wormhole. However, the wormhole is only capable of locking onto existing jumpgates, the justification being that it uses the gates to obtain coordinates to jump to. Which gate connects to which has a way of shifting around due to the [[{{Precursors}} Ancients']] meddling. The Terrans are the only race to have developed their own wormhole gates without any help from the Ancients and theirs function without any abnormalities during the jumping interval. The [[HordeOfAlienLocusts Kha'ak]] are the only ones who can jump ([[BlindJump accurately, at least]]) without gates. The lack of true, independent FTL or true {{Subspace Ansible}}s bites civilization in the ass when the non-Terran jump gate network is shut down following the [[GuiltFreeExterminationWar apocalyptic Second Terraformer War]], causing interstellar governments to effectively dissolve instantaneously, leaving behind isolated remnants trapped in hundreds of {{Lost Colony}}s Colony}}s.



* ''VideoGame/RingRunnerFlightOfTheSages'' has an unconventional FTl engine called the anchor drive. Instead of accelerating a ship past the speed of light, the anchor drive holds the ship in one part of spacetime, allowing the universe to move around them. [[SpaceMaster Caster]] ships are equipped with a caster drive, which was an early prototype of a warp drive that was weaponized after anchor drives became standard.

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* ''VideoGame/RingRunnerFlightOfTheSages'' has an unconventional FTl FTL engine called the anchor drive. Instead of accelerating a ship past the speed of light, the anchor drive holds the ship in one part of spacetime, allowing the universe to move around them. [[SpaceMaster Caster]] ships are equipped with a caster drive, which was an early prototype of a warp drive that was weaponized after anchor drives became standard.



** Also, at a quantum mechanical level, time is just another physical dimension: it is conceivable for a atomic or smaller scale object to travel in any direction along the temporal axis (as with "[[http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/virtual_particles virtual particles]]") and even spontaneously appear somewhere, or some''when'' else.

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** Also, at a quantum mechanical level, time is just another physical dimension: it is conceivable for a an atomic or smaller scale object to travel in any direction along the temporal axis (as with "[[http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/virtual_particles virtual particles]]") and even spontaneously appear somewhere, or some''when'' else.



*** One ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' novel (Time's Enemy, if I recall correctly) used this as a plot point. In the novel a derelict Defiant is found that had been trapped inside a comet for several thousand thousand years. In the novel it's stated that something in the warp core changes by a factor of ''i'' (i.e. the square root of -1) every time a starship goes to warp. Early in the novel it was determined that whatever would happen to the Defiant would occur either during or after the next time the Defiant went to warp.

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*** One ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' novel (Time's Enemy, if I recall correctly) used this as a plot point. In the novel a derelict Defiant is found that had been trapped inside a comet for several thousand thousand years. In the novel it's stated that something in the warp core changes by a factor of ''i'' (i.e. the square root of -1) every time a starship goes to warp. Early in the novel it was determined that whatever would happen to the Defiant would occur either during or after the next time the Defiant went to warp.



* In September 2011, scientists at CERN [[http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/8782895/CERN-scientists-break-the-speed-of-light.html famously announced that they observed neutrino particles moving faster than the speed of light]]. The scientists themselves readily admitted from the start that a lot more testing would be needed to confirm this claim -- and it turned out that they were right to do so. In the the Spring of 2012, it was revealed that the FTL observation was [[http://io9.com/5917018/its-official-neutrinos-cant-go-faster-than-the-speed-of-light-after-all caused by a loose fibre-optic cable]], and adjusting for this technical problem revealed that the neutrinos never broke the light-speed barrier after all. The error is understandable given the complexity of the equipment involved, and the scientists should be given credit for being cautious about their "discovery" from the start.

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* In September 2011, scientists at CERN [[http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/8782895/CERN-scientists-break-the-speed-of-light.html famously announced that they observed neutrino particles moving faster than the speed of light]]. The scientists themselves readily admitted from the start that a lot more testing would be needed to confirm this claim -- and it turned out that they were right to do so. In the the Spring of 2012, it was revealed that the FTL observation was [[http://io9.com/5917018/its-official-neutrinos-cant-go-faster-than-the-speed-of-light-after-all caused by a loose fibre-optic cable]], and adjusting for this technical problem revealed that the neutrinos never broke the light-speed barrier after all. The error is understandable given the complexity of the equipment involved, and the scientists should be given credit for being cautious about their "discovery" from the start.
24th Jun '17 10:44:50 PM ShadowFighter88
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** The details behind the tech is never explained beyond the above (a common trend in the series) but whatever it is, it's apparently precise enough for dropships to "jump" from low orbit to just a hundred metres or so above the ground reliably enough for it to be the standard way to deploy troops to an area (other than drop pods, at least). Some Pilots even use the tech for deploying their Titans, having them "jump" straight to the ground from the ship carrying it.
28th May '17 4:27:18 PM nombretomado
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* In WarrenEllis' ''ComicBook/{{Orbiter}}'', [[spoiler:the shuttle's FTL drive is heavily implied to be AlcubierreDrive (the name's not stated, but the picture of the warp field and the name Alcubierre was mentioned, and the theoretical explanation fits Alcubierre drive, except that starting and stopping is far easier)]].

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* In WarrenEllis' Creator/WarrenEllis' ''ComicBook/{{Orbiter}}'', [[spoiler:the shuttle's FTL drive is heavily implied to be AlcubierreDrive (the name's not stated, but the picture of the warp field and the name Alcubierre was mentioned, and the theoretical explanation fits Alcubierre drive, except that starting and stopping is far easier)]].
23rd May '17 2:18:10 PM Saber15
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* ''VideoGame/{{Elite}}'' has jump drive and insystem warpdrive non-weaponizable due to [[NoWarpingZone not working around]] any significant mass.

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* ''VideoGame/{{Elite}}'' has jump the Frame Shift Drive, which can instantaneous launch a ship [[HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace through witchspace]] to nearby stars of sufficient mass. ''Videogame/EliteDangerous'' adds a free-flight "Supercruise" mode for superluminal inter-planetary travel that is affected by the current gravity gradient; stray too close to a massive body at high speed and your drive will ''violently'' disengage, ripping you back into realspace and insystem warpdrive non-weaponizable due to [[NoWarpingZone not working around]] any significant mass.sending you into a wild spin in the process.
21st May '17 6:13:43 PM nombretomado
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* Invented by humans in Creator/HarryTurtledove's ''[[{{Worldwar}} Homeward Bound]]'' and demonstrated to the [[TheReptilians Race]] when the ''Commodore Perry'' arrives in orbit of Home after leaving Earth's orbit 5 weeks ago. The previous ship, the ''Admiral Peary'', was a SleeperStarship that took 30 years to make the same trip. In fact, the figure "5 weeks" is misleading, implying a "warp" drive of sorts. The drive is actually of the "jump" variety and is instantaneous (some TechnoBabble about strings). However, it only works if the ship is not near any gravity distortions, such as those created by stars and planets. It took 2.5 weeks for the ''Commodore Perry'' to leave the Solar System, and another 2.5 weeks to go from outside the Tau Ceti system to Home's orbit. The second FTL ship, the ''Tom Edison'', is mentioned to be a little faster in terms of acceleration, meaning it would also cut down the trip.

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* Invented by humans in Creator/HarryTurtledove's ''[[{{Worldwar}} ''[[Literature/{{Worldwar}} Homeward Bound]]'' and demonstrated to the [[TheReptilians Race]] when the ''Commodore Perry'' arrives in orbit of Home after leaving Earth's orbit 5 weeks ago. The previous ship, the ''Admiral Peary'', was a SleeperStarship that took 30 years to make the same trip. In fact, the figure "5 weeks" is misleading, implying a "warp" drive of sorts. The drive is actually of the "jump" variety and is instantaneous (some TechnoBabble about strings). However, it only works if the ship is not near any gravity distortions, such as those created by stars and planets. It took 2.5 weeks for the ''Commodore Perry'' to leave the Solar System, and another 2.5 weeks to go from outside the Tau Ceti system to Home's orbit. The second FTL ship, the ''Tom Edison'', is mentioned to be a little faster in terms of acceleration, meaning it would also cut down the trip.



** During a jump, everyone aboard must take shelter in special "normalization booths"; the author has stated that this "creates a good separation between travel that's normal — adhering to the laws of physics — and travel that's abnormal, unnatural, and dangerous."

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** During a jump, everyone aboard must take shelter in special "normalization booths"; the author has stated that this "creates a good separation between travel that's normal — adhering to the laws of physics and travel that's abnormal, unnatural, and dangerous."
14th May '17 10:35:00 AM Kakai
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* In ''Literature/TheMachineriesOfEmpire'', ships travel between the skies using mothdrives. What exactly a mothdrive is and how it manages to achieve FTL is left unexplained, but it's mentioned that it's an [[FunctionalMagic exotic technology]].
11th May '17 12:17:24 AM NumberFortyFour
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* ''Film/JimmyNeutronBoyGenius'': the kids apparently manage to travel 3 million light years in what amounts to about a day.
7th May '17 10:34:29 PM Caps-luna
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* In a fission nuclear reactor particles routinely travel faster than light. ...Well faster than the speed of light in water. Light isn't the fastest thing around when it isn't going through a vacuum.
18th Apr '17 7:38:04 AM Gizm07
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* Marcin Podlewski's duology ''Depth'' is named after a subspace that can be "jumped into" with the use of deep drives. In theory, Depth can instantly connect any two points in the universe, but due to immense power and navigational calculations required to perform a jump, the most commonly practiced limit is travelling 15 light years per jump. The technology also has various limiations that have to be taken into account when planning a journey; the main one being that living beings have to be rendered unconscious using Stasis drug for the duration of the jump, as travelling through Depth awake almost always drives organic lifeforms insane.
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