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Hyperspace travel??

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    RMcD
    Confirmed User

  • RMcD
    replied
    The question that leaps instantly to my mind is, if there are beacons in hyperspace that are independent of jump gates, what are they anchored to? Do they have engines to maintain their position, or are there spots in hyperspace with no appreciable drift?

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  • Garibaldi's Hair
    Busy! Busy! Busy!

  • Garibaldi's Hair
    replied
    I always understood that ships with the power to create their own jumppoint still navigated using the beacons ... after all, the Cortez is capable of forming its own jump point and was still in danger of being lost in hyperspace as it drifted away from the beacon, same with Delenn's White Star after being practically destroyed by the Centauri in S5.

    The "scientific" theory underlying it is that the geography of hyperspace "corresponds" to the geography of normal space, only much smaller allowing vast distances to be travelled in a short time period. The purpose of the beacons is to provide a reference point to the geography of normal space, as there are no reference points within hyperspace itself, and therefore nothing to navigate by.

    It could be that jump engines are programmed to only allow a jump out of hyperspace where a beacon is detected. It is never addressed in the show, but it makes some sense that this might be the case.

    Alternatively, the problem with being lost in hyperspace could simply be that the beacon network marks the area of the 'normal space' galaxy that has been mapped and can be navigated, so jumping out of hyperspace when out of contact with the beacons dumps you in an uncharted and unmapped sector of space.

    Here is what the Wikipedia entry on hyperspace says under the Babylon 5 section:

    In the television show 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 a jumpgate, which are artificial constructs that create a rift into hyperspace, or they can have their own jump-engine. The latter is 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 utterly featureless, 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 a ship 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.

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  • Radhil
    Part-Time Dreamer

  • Radhil
    replied
    The way I understood it as watching the show was that you were able to plot a course through hyperspace either (a) through the gate network, following their beacons, or (b) charting a point-to-point before you got inside. Any ship with a suitable jump drive could punch a hole, but without correlating reference information from the "real world" there was no way to navigate at all. Such a ship could always punch out if it got lost, but would need a whole lot of astro-chart crunching to figure out where it was to be able to jump anywhere else.

    And meanwhile any other ship that strayed off the beacon paths would simply be... lost.

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  • Jan
    replied
    I'm pretty sure that there are beacons in yyperspace that don't necessarily correspond to jumpgates. Those would just be there as navigational aids. In that way a ship could navigate to a beacon and exit hyperspace if it's able to form its own jumpoint. If a ship can't form a jumpoint, it would signal to the gate and fees would be incurred.

    I think...

    Jan

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  • RMcD
    Confirmed User

  • RMcD
    replied
    I think I understand the problem, but it's a real head-scratcher trying to think of a solution. I'm not really familiar with anything that's said on this except in the show, so apologies if this contradicts anything canon. But suppose (and this is just speculation) the lock-on signal of a jumpgate is broadcast simultaneously in both hyperspace and normal space. Then all a ship would have to do is always remain close enough to an existing jumpgate to maintain a constant lock-on to it at all times, including in the transition through it's own jump point. This would obviously limit interstellar travel to the distance it's possible to maintain a lock-on signal like this, but actually even given the existense of ships like the Cortez, that doesn't seem entirely inconsistent with what's seen in Babylon 5.

    The jump-gate network seems pretty extensive, so exploration would generally consist of pushing it out further by travelling out as far as possible from an existing gate and then building a new gate. Losing a signal in normal space wouldn't necessarily be fatal since you could be rescued, re-synchronise with another passing ship in the same sector, or navigate back to civilisation by the stars. Losing it in hyperspace would be more dangerous because of the drift, the absence of recognisable features, and the narrow shipping lanes.

    Back in the 'real' world, given my limited understanding of physics, and barring the possibility of 'hyperspace' - ie. a habitable parallel space that happens to be more compact than ours (which would be really handy), creating a stable 'wormhole' for more than a nanosecond would as I understand it be almost impossible because of their tendency to collapse - but even if you could do it, you'd have to create it at both ends simultaneously - so a ship would probably never be able to open a 'wormhole' between two distant points - the tunnel would have to exist already..

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  • Xatonia
    Confirmed User

  • Xatonia
    started a topic Hyperspace travel??

    Hyperspace travel??

    Hey all - Sorry for the random (and slightly poor) question... But i have got myself confused, and am trying to piece the information below together for a research project.

    I have watched alot of babylon 5 (although a while ago so forgive my memory) and read articles on jumpgates and hyperspace and understand them.

    What I do not understand however, is when a larger ship (NOT the shadows) creates its OWN jumppoint/wormhole/field in a random section of space, how does it know where itÆs travelling to? Because surely it doesn't have the jumpgate beacons to lock onto if it isn't near any (and is in a random sector?)

    Any light you could shed on this would be greatly appreciated.
    Many thanks!
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