Interstellar travel: forms of transportation

I’ve been traveling a lot lately for work (in fact I’m writing this on a train) and that got me thinking about modes of transportation in general and interstellar travel in particular. Interstellar travel has of course been a mainstay in science fiction so authors and TV writers through the ages have come up with a few pretty cool ideas on how to arrange convenient movement around the universe. Here are some fictional examples.

Hyperspace

One of the most popular manifestations of interstellar travel in fiction, some version of hyperspace has appeared in Star Wars, Star Trek, Dune series as well as Isaac Asimov’s fiction. The most used idea is that alongside our own universe is hyperspace which is condensed so that traveling there will allow faster than light travel in our universe. Also known as slipstream and warp drive.

Wormholes

Like everything, space and time supposedly have ridges in them. If you look at a paper close enough, you’ll see ridges and valleys. If a ridge is narrow enough, a passage may open or be opened between two sides of a ridge or two ridges. These passages are known as wormholes. This is also a technique used by loads of fiction, and at least some star trek movies, to move not only in space but time as well.

The improbability drive

Invented by Douglas Adams for his Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy series, the improbability drive moves the spacecraft not only in space but in time as well by creating a field of improbability around itself which causes highly improbably things to occur and when the improbability is at exactly the right amount, the spacecraft will simply appear in the desired destination.

The origami drive

Holly Lisle used this in her book Hunting the Corrigan’s blood. The basic idea is that the origami drive together with the other origami drives in other dimensions is able to fold space neatly into a decahedron around the spacecraft allowing it to move into the ten directions.

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