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Hyperdrive is a fictional propulsion system that allows a starship to complete interstellar journeys through hyperspace. Hyperdrive is a common method of faster-than-light travel in science fiction.

Star Wars

Ships in Star Wars use hyperdrive that allow starships, from massive ISDs to small fighters such as the X-wing, to travel across the galaxy in a few hours or days at most.


Hyperdrive allows ships to travel the galaxy in a matter of hours or days.

According to the Behind the Magic CD-ROM, the direct travel time from Coruscant to Tatooine is over three weeks while the travel time from Corellia to Tatooine is only four hours, despite both Corellia and Coruscant being in the galactic core.

If one assumes that Corellia is 30,000 light years from Tatooine, then it is possible to arrive at a figure of 65 million times the speed of light. Even the slowest route listed, Coruscant to Tatooine direct, is still over 500,000 c.

If we assume that the Millennium Falcon spent eight hours in hyperspace to get to Alderaan, and that it traveled 30,000 light years to do so, we still arrive at a figure of slightly more than 32 million c.


Before and during the Clone Wars, navigation computers for hyperspace travel were rare and expensive, so most starships used pre-mapped "hyperspace lanes" to travel between star systems. As the war progressed, navigation computers became less expensive and more common, so "hyperspace lanes" became obsolete in the aftermath.


In Stargate, hyperdrive is a common method of moving starships between star systems and even galaxies. Hyperdrive is primarily used for objects too large to pass through a stargate.


  • Cronus' mothership could travel at 32,000c. After the replicators upgraded the hyperdrive's performance to 800 times its original abilities, it had a speed of 25,600,000c, though the speed shown was much higher given that only a few hours passed.
  • The Daedalus-class battlecruisers regularly travel between Earth and Atlantis in eighteen days. That gives a speed of 60,875,001c. With a ZPM that speed increases to 273,937,500c.
  • The BC-303 USAF Prometheus could travel to Atlantis from Earth to Atlantis in three weeks, that's 52,178,570c.
  • The Tel'tek that SG-1 took to Proclarush Taonas was capable of getting to Halla in 10 days. Assuming Halla is ~4,000,000 Light-years away, that equates to 146,100,000c.
  • When Thor towed the USAF Prometheus back to Earth after its first hyperspace trip caused it to go 1200 Light-years in a random direction, the trip back to Earth took around 20 seconds. The speed equates to ~1,893,456,000c.
  • In Prometheus Unbound, the Prometheus traveled 50 Light-years in 20 minutes. That equals a speed of 1,314,900c.
  • In Memento, the Prometheus was supposed to take 90 minutes to travel 40.62 Light-years, that equates a speed of 237,383.28c.

Babylon 5

Large ships in Babylon 5 can carry "jump engines" that will open wormholes into hyperspace, where interstellar journeys can be completed in a matter of hours or days. The ship must engage the jump engines to create another vortex in order to leave hyperspace at the destination. It takes several minutes to recharge a ship's jump engines after each use.

Smaller ships can use relatively immobile "jump gates" to enter hyperspace, emerging through another jump gate at their destination. Jump gates typically orbit populated planets, and therefore move with the planet in orbit of the local sun and with the sun in orbit of the galactic center.

Navigation through hyperspace requires following a network of beacons generated by jump gates. Hyperspace travel is generally quite fast, but actual travel time can vary considerably depending on the path that must be followed to remain in range of the navigational beacons. A ship that loses contact with the beacon network is likely to become lost forever.

Foundation Series

In the Foundation Series, the hyperjump only lasts a fraction of a second. it causes a momentary feeling of "inside outness". The jump can be of any distance, but the direction is affected by any mass between the starting and ending point. For each jump, the position must be rechecked, limiting the ships to standard routes (or months of travel) for tens of thousands of years, until proper navicomputers were created. A jump is possible in the immediate vicinity of a planet, but was known to cause extreme discomfort and even unconsciousness in such cases.


The CommonWealth in the 2380's developed FTL technology described to stransport ships through hyperspace. during the Dyson war only large ships with powerful fusion reactors could support this drive. Speed is related to model, but the majorty of engins run at 55 lightyears per hour.