Slipstream Explained: Star Trek/HALO


Star Trek Halo.

By: Robert Martirosyan, Journalist

Slipstream Drives are quite unpopular when compared to the infamous hyperdrive and the warp drive. However, they are one of the fastest forms of transportation in science fiction, and can even exceed the speeds of a warp drive and a hyper drive. I am here to explain this concept in simpler words than others, and I am going to be using ideas based on the information given in Star Trek and the HALO games.

In Star Trek, similar to the transwarp ducts used by the Borg, the slipstream is a focused, directed field that is initiated by manipulating the space-time continuum at the quantum level using the starship’s navigational deflector array. This creates a subspace tunnel, which is projected ahead of the ship. Once a ship has entered this passageway, the forces inside propel it at unimaginable speeds. To maintain the slipstream, a ship has to constantly modify the quantum field with its deflector dish.

In HALO, however, things are a bit different. Slipspace is the general method of interstellar travel. Both the Covenant, and their human competitors, the UNSC forces, use slipspace to travel between star systems. The mechanics of slipstream technology are described in more detail in the novel Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, on page 53:

“Shaw-Fujikawa engines allowed UNSC ships to leave normal space and plow through a dimensional subdomain colloquially known as “Slipstream space.” … The drive used particle accelerators to rip apart normal space-time by generating micro black holes. Those holes evaporated via Hawking Radiation in a nanosecond. The real quantum mechanical “magic” of the drive was how it manipulated those holes in space-time, squeezing a hundred-thousand-ton cruiser into Slipspace.”

Both perspectives convey slipstream as an incalculable, extremely fast method of travel, and it is depicted as faster than warp and theoretically hyperspace. Though it is impossible to achieve such an advanced technology according to modern science, it is still truly wonderful how this is used.

Related Articles:

Quantum Slipstream

Slipspace – Halo Alpha

Slipstream Space