Jump Engine

Jumpspace is treated as an alternate dimension where the distances between spatial bodies are significantly shorter. The primary energy expenditure in Jumpspace travel is the act of "jumping" into Jumpspace. While in Jumpspace itself, ships use their normal propulsion systems and interstellar travel is enabled by the shortened distances. Ships must either use a jumpgate, which are artificial constructs that create a rift into Jumpspace, or they can have their own jump-engine. The latter is usually restricted to large vessels, as opening a rift requires a staggering amount of power. Jump gates are used by larger vessels whenever possible, to save energy.

Jumpspace is utterly featureless, with no points of reference. Therefore, ships have to use the Jumpspace beacon system—a network of transmitters located in known points in realspace (usually jumpgates)—in order to navigate. If a ship travels off the beacon network, it will become lost in Jumpspace. Babylon 5 is slightly unusual in that ships in Jumpspace require no energy fields to protect themselves, so a ship that becomes lost in Jumpspace can theoretically drift forever, and be rediscovered millennia later (this has been used as a plot point). Jumpspace also has currents, which will pull a disabled ship off the beacon network in a relatively short period of time.

A jump point allowing entry into Jumpspace from normal space is characterized by a yellow whirlpool, while jump points for ships emerging from Jumpspace are characterized by a blue whirlpool. This is likely dependent on the design of the jump gate or jump engines, as Shadow vessels are seen entering and exiting Jumpspace by appearing to simply fade away, and some of the other First Ones have other visual effects associated with Jumpspace travel. Battles in Jumpspace are infrequent and avoided; it appears that most such battles in history have ended disastrously for both sides.

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