Primary propulsion system used by most faster-than-light interstellar spacecraft. Warp drive systems used by Federation starships employ the controlled annihilation of matter and antimatter, regulated by dilithium crystals, to generate the tremendous power required to warp space and travel faster than light. Warp drive was invented in 2063 by noted scientist Zefram Cochrane of Alpha Centauri. It is inadvisable to go to warp inside of a solar system because exceeding the speed of light near a gravity well can be dangerous if the gravitational potentials are not precisely taken into account.
Unit of measure for faster-than-light warp velocities generated by warp drive. Warp factor one is c. the speed of light, while ligher speeds are computed under one of two different formula. The original constitution-class Starship Enterprise had a cruising speed of warp actor 6 and could reach warp 8 only with significant danger to the ship itself. By the 24th century. a new warp-factor scale was in use that employed an asymptotic curve, placing warp 10 as an Infinite value. Under the new scale. the Galaxy-class Enterprise-D had a normal cruising speed of warp 6 (392 times light speed, about warp 7.3 under the old system), and a maximum normal velocity of warp 9.2 (about 1649 times light speed, equivalent to about warp 11.8 in the “old” system). In 2370. following the formation of a massive subspace rift within the Hekaras Corridor, the Federation Council agreed that the use of warp fields posed a significant threat to some areas of space. Therefore the Council decreed that some areas would be limited to essential travel only. Furthermore, the Council imposed a Federation-wide ‘speed limit” of warp 5, which could only be exceeded in times of extreme emergency. Later advances in Federation warp drive technology permitted the use of speeds exceeding warp 5. One of the first ships to be so equipped was the intrepid-class U.S.S. Voyager, whose varable-geometry warp drive nacelles prevented damage to the subspace continuum.
The “bubble” of subspace in which a starship travels when using warp drive. A low-level warp field can have the effect of reducing the local gravitational constant within the field itself. This is because a subspace field resembles the time-space distortion of a gravitational field. The effect is that a low-level warp field can be used to temporarily reduce the apparent mass of an object (with relationship to the outside universe
Bearing. In celestial navigation, a mathematical expression describing a direction in space with relationship to a space vehicle. A bearing measures the angular difference between the current forward direction of the spacecraft and the direction being described. The first number in a bearing descnbes an azimuth in degrees, and the second describes an elevation. For example, a bearing of 000 mark 0 describes a direction directly ahead of the vessel. A bearing of 330 mark 15 describes a direction to the port side (left) of the ship. somewhat above the centerline of the vessel.
In celestial navigation, a mathematical expression describing a direction with relationship to the center of the galaxy. A heading is composed of two numbers measuring an azimuth value and an elevation value in degrees. A heading of 000, mark 0 describes a direction toward the geometric center of the galaxy. In terms of navigation on a planet’s surface. this is analogous to describing a direction in degrees from north, in which case a course of 5 degrees would be slightly to the right of a direction directly toward the planet’s north pole. A heading differs from a bearing on that it has no relationship to the current orientation of the spacecraft.