D-Drive | De-Classic-Space Encyclopedia
When Deeping failed to provide a solution, space technology didn't result in much change to the common man. Colonists were sent to Mars and many bases were set up that used mostly robotics to mine the needed resources. To a lesser extent it was a similar story with the moon. But aside from maintenance and a small amount of administration, the manpower needs were minimal. Further plans to mine the moons throughout the system were progressing as well, and these were to be mostly robotic as well. Travelling beyond the solar system involved too many risks so only a hand-full of ships attempted it. Thus for the most part people stayed on earth.
Then in 2208 an experiment to create a new type of microscope failed and in the process destroyed itself and heavily damaged the building it was in. After six months of analysis, the researchers realised that they had done the unbelievable; the "microscope" caused itself and about 5 meters of room to just go away and then re-appear 1/100 of a second later. This resulted in the building collapsing around the area, and caused explosions when the room re-appeared in the same place. The device was designed to look inside sub-atomic particles, but by doing so it was drawn into them as well. When it lost power (due to no longer being attached to the room) it was expelled.
This interesting result didn't excite many non-scientists yet, but their next experiment did. They made a new version of the machine that was more than twice as powerful and also had a self contained power supply. It was placed in a high orbit around Old Earth and set to turn on for 5 seconds. The point of the experiment was to determine if the device would be unharmed by the process. At first the experiment seemed to fail; it vanished on schedule but didn't reappear. However, a few minutes later data started coming in; it had broken orbit and was half way to Mars!
It didn't take long to realise what had happened, although even today there is much debate as to why. In being drawn into the particles the device entered a dimension different to the current one. In this dimension there was no Old Earth, so the orbital motion of the device was not held back by the gravity, so it easily broke orbit. This however didn't account for all of the distance travelled, and it was the key discovery; it was apparent that within this dimension space was smaller so greater distances could be travelled!
Further experiments were conducted and several other key facts were found; the more power used the deeper the device went into the Dimension. The deeper the Dimensioning the faster the effective travel though normal space. Also three early fears were resolved early; firstly the passage of time was mostly unchanged, the second experiment proved that as the internal clock had under 1/10 of a second difference. Secondly, providing they were completely within the device, humans suffered no ill effects; this was an illegal test by the lead engineer. Thirdly, and probably most importantly, it was not possible to destroy a larger object (such as a planet) by de-dimensioning within it. It isn't completely understood why, but several early experiment failures determined that. The best guess it that when de-dimensioning the gravity of the object acts in reverse. In any case this results in the object appearing near the larger one.
By 2215 a working "D-Drive" scout was ready and it scouted out nearby systems... and the rest is history. Today the D-Drive has enabled humans to spread throughout the universe and all large ships have one. How it works is still not fully understood, and experiments still go on. Some say that it's possible to use the D-Drive to make a ship invisible yet still be able to see or even attack other ships. More fantastically others claim that time travel is possible using one. But there's no proof of this.
Last updated 23 Aug 09
Important note While I do a lot of research and try to be as realistic as possible, the "science" here is junk science at best. For the most part it's just for fun so please don't be quoting any of this as fact! Just the same, if you think I'm really wrong tell me via the Slog. Especially if you think I can change my "facts" to be more realisic without affecting the story.