Beyond the Trojan Reach
A basic concept of Interstellar Travel: that of an alternate space in which Jump occurs. While originally conceived as an alternate universe, Jumpspace is correctly defined in String Theory as an extension of our universe, where there are more dimensions than are usually perceived. According to this theory, jumpspaces are alternate spaces, each only dimly understood from the standpoint of our own universe.
Jump is defined as the movement of matter from one point in space (called normal space) to another point in normal space by travelling through an alternate space (called jumpspace). The benefit of jump is that the time required is relatively invariant – about one week. If the distance travelled is greater than can be covered in one week in normal space, then a gain has been made. Jumpspace makes possible enormous gains.
Originally jump was limited to jump 1, but It was conceived that this was limited due to the energies involved, and eventually higher quantum levels were found, which allow for jumps of greater distances. Additionally, string theory shows that further distances might be possible travel in jumpspace, or that some alternate types of faster than light travel might exist.
Entering jump is possible anywhere, but perturbations due to gravity make it safest to begin a jump at least 100 diameters out from a large massive body such as a world or star. Ships are naturally precipitated out of jumpspace before they get too deep into a gravity field.
Normal jumps take 168 hours (plus or minus 10 percent) to complete, regardless of the distance travelled. Sometimes a jump goes wrong. Catastrophic failures (called misjumps) can destroy the ship and its crew. Other failures can destroy a drive or send a ship in the wrong direction. Some misjumps reduce a jump-6 to a mere jump-1, or convert a jump-1 into jump-10, 20, or higher. The fact that misjumps can cause the distance traveled to exceed the normal range is an indication that further research is necessary in the field of jump technologies.