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Thread: Pros and Cons Of FTL Travel Types

  1. #1 Pros and Cons Of FTL Travel Types 
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Jump Drive: Gets you from point A to point Z, without ever seeing point B, C, D, or... you get the picture.

    Con: Should take an epic amount of energy to use, I don't see how you could do it otherwise.

    Pros: Nobody is gonna attack you easily, since you can get away with ease, unless they have something to disable you from jumping.

    Hyperspace/Subspace Drive: Let's you fly at subluminal speeds inside a dimension that travels faster than light.

    Cons: What if you get stuck in hyperspace? That don't sound good. And don't tell me it can't happen. Because it can.

    Pros: I really don't think it offers ANY advantages over jump drives, since ships CAN follow you in hyperspace tunnels.

    Warp Drive: Ah Alcubierre style eh?

    Pros: You can travel anywhere in real space, with an amount of energy that is not ridiculous.

    Cons: Some way you have figured out how to change normal matter into negative matter, and also a way to block or deflect hawking radiation. Likely, your system is a closed one, since the universe itself has nothing like this. Which means that should anything become unstable or malfunction, you ship will blow up like Hiroshima, or worse. So you you have a more energy efficient ship than the first two options, but also more fragile. Because I don't see how a ship like this taking hits in battle won't go boom. And epically.

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  3. #2  
    Forum Sophomore
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    In the context of science fiction, they always put drawbacks in technologies so that they can write an interesting story.

    *There is the very weird FTL variant in Dune, its a bit convoluted. In the book, they have an engine to fold space. In order to operate the engine they normally need a supercomputer to navigate safely(its a jump drive, no hyperspace). However, after 1000 years of a machine dictatorship, and the bloody war of liberation that ended it, that also nuked earth. Resulted in a ban of all thinking machines by religious decree. In order to operate the jump drive, they had to use the spice melange, so that the navigators can use there hugelly artificially boosted psychic prescience to guess correctly how to navigate safely without computers. And of course the spice melange can be harvested at only one planet in the entire empire. And of course the navigators need huge quantities of spice, just to survive after they started taking it at such doses, doses that also mutated them. Add to that complicated feudal politics, with the guild of navigators having an absolute monopoly in interstellar travel (they are dependent on spice, if they don't get it, they die good motivation to be unionized :P).

    *In the film, they changed it a bit. The navigators fold space directly with there minds. The increase of psychic abilities is huge. Still unusual

    *Some jump drive variants, work only at specific points in space, and for a specific destination only. They need to be mapped in advance. You need to move between those points the hard way. These points can be quite far, so crossing the galaxy can take centuries of travel (instaid of the 100.000 years light takes). A jump drive malfunction, can send you to the wrong universe/dimension/time/place. A jump drive mallfunction, and the drive can vanish with out a trace at/after a jump. The jump drive can be more or less precisse, from precisse enough to use in batle, to so imprecisse you need long conventional travell time after each jump. The jump it self might need long preparation

    *Worm holes. A fixed shortcut between two points in space time. Meaning you also travel in time.

    *In the Xeelee series of books, it gets close to actual theory. They have faster then light flight, literally. Like the hypothetical tachyons. The consequence is, that the ship also travels backwards in time. The further it travels, the more it travels back in time. Time is not fixed, it can be changed freely by the travelers. Also worm holes are build, they follow the theorized behavior, its a bit complicated. the mouths need to be moved the conventional way at the desired points. The mouths accumulate time dilation of relativity, if one mouth goes to alpha centory and back, someone going in through the mouth that stayed behind, will reapire from the moved mouth 8 years later...

    *An other variant of FTL with time travel that has fixed time. The travelers can't change the past.

    *Telleportation, that may or may not be instantaneous. In the manga "Locke the superman". The character can telleport him self between near solar system.

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