A hyperdrive is a module or device that allows access to hyperspace. Its size depends on the size of the hyperspace window, and thus on the size of the object of data trying to access hyperspace.
Typically, the hyperspace speed in the core of the Appearence is a single light year per minute. High-speed hyperdrives typically go up to three light years per minute. A "hyperdrive 2.0" is currently in development by several hyperdrive manufacturing companies, which allows hyperspace speeds of up to 30 light years per minute. Low-tech, cheap hyperdrives typically go around 0.05 light years per minute, or one light year per 20 minutes.
Theoretically, there is no limit to the speed one can travel in hyperspace. The only limit is how fast the technology can make the object or data go: The faster something travels in hyperspace, the more unstable it becomes; higher grades of technology are required to account for the instability.
Typically, in hyperspace, ships cannot send communications, but they can receive them.
Hyperdrives are not readily available to all citizens. They cost quite a lot of money to manufacture, and therefore purchase, and have an additional upkeep cost because of the power they use. Typically, medium-sized businesses are the smallest groups to use hyperdrives. Hyperdrives for use in interplanetary trade are essential; it happens on a regular basis. On a standard trade route, there will always be around 20 ships along the route at any one time. Citizen access to hyperspace is costly. Often, only the middle-upper class travel in hyperspace. It is expected that within 50 years, a typical family will be able to go on vacation to another planet using hyperspace around once a year.
Hyperdrive 2.0 Edit
Hyperdrive 2.0 is the second class of hyperdrives. It is more expensive, experimental, quick and unstable than hyperdrive 1.0. No widely-used ships use just hyperdrive 2.0 – all ships use either both of the hyperdrives or just the earlier version, because of its instability.
A charge-up time of around 2 hours is required for hyperdrive 2.0s. Non-essential systems must also be shut down for the latter half of the charge-up time, and during the journey. That also means that both sending and receiving data is impossible for the latter half of the charge-up and for the duration of the journey. Once the journey has begun, around 20% of the journey time must be spent out of hyperspace, allowing the hyperdrive to cool down. This usually happens in 5 hour intervals – 4 hours would be spent in hyperspace, then 1 hour resting. Having non-essential systems online is usually detrimental to the cool down phase, often resulting in the time needed being doubled, so they're usually left off.
Once the ship arrives out of hyperspace, it is usually affected by "hyperdrive lag", wherein some systems of the ship cannot be re-activated for anywhere from 5 minutes to 5 hours.
On top of the said instabilities, the ship has a chance of spontaneous destructing either during charge up or in hyperspace. Over the past few years, this chance has dropped from around 30% in a 10-hour journey to 0.2%, though the chance is directly proportional to the size of the ship, so larger ships do not traverse using hyperdrive 2.0s, even in emergencies. For instance, compared to the 0.2% chance of spontaneous destruction for a 10-hour journey, an average 20 km length ship has a 45% chance.