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Warp Drive Vs. Hyperdrive

These terms are often confused by laymen. The Alcubierre or warp drive is what makes interstellar travel possible at human time scales. It distorts a small pocket of spacetime which allows an equipped ship to be "pushed" to another point in spacetime. Without it, we would be trapped in our home solar system. It is also used at subliminal speeds for travel between distant points in a solar system, as these can be quite vast as well.

Hyperdrive is an advanced subluminal propulsion system and is more properly known as GMAP, Gravity Manipulation Assisted Propulsion. A ship equipped with a GMAP can effectively reduce its mass. Theoretically it could also be used to increase the vessel's mass (and in fact a similar principle is used for creating D-Tron batteries) though such an application would be limited. A reduction in a ship's mass enables seemingly impossible high speed manoeuvres and acceleration. While researchers have demonstrated that a ship can be rapidly accelerated to a significant percent of the speed of light (roughly 20%) with a GMAP, it's not practical as it is costly in terms of energy use. It's far more sensible to equip a spacecraft with a Alcubierre drive for distances of more than a few AU. However, in a number of systems, warp drive use is banned up to 12 AU near populated planets and moons. In those cases a GMAP system can be invaluable. Additionally, GMAP allows for localised artificial gravity without the need for rotating crew cabins or cockpits.

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Shadowjack Bournemouth, UK

I love art, music and scifi so I combine them all and create new worlds. My music is eclectic because I like a lot of different sounds. I'm not part of a scene, I do what I like and I'm a nerd.

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