07 JAN 3303
Continuing our popular series on significant episodes from human history, noted historian Sima Kalhana discusses the development of the hyperdrive.
"Hyperspace technology originated in the early 22nd Century, but it wasn't until the 2800s that consumer ships began to take advantage of it."
"The first commercially available hyperspace system was known as the 'Faraway Jump'. The Faraway system was far from perfect, however, depending on a complex network of monitoring satellites, branch lines, stop points and rescue stations – which took hundreds of years to establish – to operate smoothly."
"It was around this time the phrase 'witch-space' first appeared, reflecting the inherent dangers of early hyperspace technology and the strange 'corridor' a ship travelled through during a hyperspace jump. Some even believed witch-space was haunted by 'ghosts of ships that went into Faraway and didn't come out again'. It is certainly true that a number of ships never reached their destinations."
"The original hyperdrives were powered by a fuel known as quirium, the formula for which was a closely guarded secret. When this formula was lost, the hyperspace industry suffered a major setback. A number of different drives strove to fill the void left by the quirium drives, but it was the Type 2b that proved most popular. Unfortunately, ships equipped with a 2b left behind a hyperspace 'cloud' at their entry and exit points, making it all too easy for malcontents to track and ambush these vessels."
"In the late 3290s, a new hyperspace system emerged that immediately rendered the Type 2b obsolete. Jump times were reduced to mere seconds, as they had been with quirium drives, without any loss in jump range. Journeys that had hitherto been considered unfeasible were now within the realms of possibility."
"Even today, hyperspace remains poorly understood. Many pilots have reported glimpsing inexplicable lights, and even structures, within the witch-space tunnels. It may be centuries before all of its mysteries are unravelled."