FTL, an abbreviation for "Faster Than Light," refers to travel at speeds greater than the speed of light. Albert Einstein concluded from theoretical analysis that travel at such velocities is physically impossible. However, the idea of practical FTL travel remains a mainstay throughout science fiction.
Though both Tosevite and Lizard physicists had once believed that faster-than-light travel was impossible (see Theory of Relativity), in 2031, physicists from the United States designed a starship, the Commodore Perry, which could fly faster than light. The technology appears to have involved manipulating superstrings so that points that were ordinarily separated by a great deal of distance in the space-time continuum would temporarily be in immediate contact with one another. Travel between two points in space appeared to be instantatious but such points had to be well away from gravity wells requiring the use of a sub-light rocket to get to the desired points.
A side effect of this technology was an intense vertigo on some passengers for a moment when the ship would jump, it didn't seem to affect people used to vertigo, like pilots, as much. An environmental side effect appeared to be a radio blackout for fifteen seconds during the jump at the exit point.
On its inaugural journey, the Commodore Perry traveled the eleven light-years from Earth to Home in five and a half weeks. The Race found this extremely alarming, and doubted it could build a ship to match in less than seventy-five Earth years, even moving at a pace which it would previously have considered reckless. This estimate was later revised by the Race's chief physicist to 25 to 50 Earth years when the Commodore Perry's capabilities were confirmed.
The US built more Commodore Perry class starships. The second of the class was the Tom Edison.
There are many possible forms of FTL travel. The most common is hyperdrive. Other forms include hop-skip-and-a-jump drive, overdrive, underdrive, orthodontic drive (which can correct both overdrive and underdrive but is hellishly expensive), wheel drive, and forty-two other authorized forms. There is also at least one unauthorized form, Royal Drive. Use of an unauthorized drive within city limits is a crime on Galactic Central punishable by imprisonment.