Gravity Drive

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The primary form of superluminal travel, the gravity drive has helped mankind colonize neighboring stars within 50 light years of earth. The gravity drive work on the principal that gravity can warp and compress space-time. It induces a massive buildup of gravity at the bow of a ship, compressing space-time and allowing a ship to travel vast distances without actually reaching the speed of light. It “brings the mountain to Mohammad” in a sense. Because the complexities of interstellar travel, one must first get clear of a stellar body and into interstellar space. This means travel is not possible within a star’s heliosphere, or though nebula or other phenomenon. Additionally, as a gravity jump must lock onto the gravity signature of the target star, one can only jump to adjacent stars. Further, a gravity jump takes a tremendous amount of energy to catalyze, so any jump capable ship must store up power in capacitors and batteries as no power system is capable of that level of output. In practical terms, gravity jumps tend to max out at 10 light years in range, depending on the mass of the target star. The term “jump” is a misnomer as well. Travel is not instantaneous, as it is impossible to infinitely compress all of space-time between two stars. Instead, gravity jumps make travelling a light year roughly a matter of a single day. Currently, it can take 5-6 months, depending on route, to travel across the entirety of colonized space. Once a gravity jump is started, it can be interrupted, however this requires more time for a ship to charge its jump batteries once again, this time without the assistance of solar cells.