Hyperspace Gates

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In order to move a starship without a hyperspace drive from one star system to another, there are two common methods. One is to connect it to another, hyperspace-capable starship, and have that ship tow the first one through hyperspace. The other is to use a hyperspace gate.

A hyperspace gate is a large, permanent structure, usually located either in planetary orbit or in deep space. It basically consists of a power source, a close-range sensor array, and a powerful Vedihno Bubble generator. Automated hyperspace gates also incorporate a communications system to allow ships needing to use the gate to activate them.

A hyperspace gate operates just like a hyperspace drive on a starship, with the exception that the gate does not travel with the ship through hyperspace. Instead, the gate forms a Vedihno Bubble around the ship, giving the bubble enough energy to pass through a set distance in hyperspace. The bubble is then pushed into hyperspace, where it travels at a constant speed, taking the ship along inside of it. When the energy in the bubble runs out, it collapses, dropping the ship back into normal space.

The main downside to using a hyperspace gate, from a technological standpoint, is the fact that all of the energy needed for the trip must be imparted to the Vedihno Bubble at the start. A hyperspace drive can impart this energy throughout the duration of the trip, so the peak energy requirement is relatively low. A hyperspace gate imparts its energy to the bubble all at once, so the peak energy requirement is extremely high, especially if the ship being transported is very large or heavy, or has a long way to go. For this reason, hyperspace gates are usually only used for ships that are too small to carry a hyperspace drive, if a ship's hyperspace drive is not functioning, and/or if the distance to be travelled is very short.

Some hyperspace gates are programmed only for a specific destination, but most allow the user to program the gate to send them anywhere they need to go. Public hyperspace gates usually charge users a fee based on the amount of energy the trip is expected to require, plus an administrative fee.