33

In the miniseries the first time we hear about FTL jumps (Adama ordering the jump to Ragnar Anchorage), there's an exchange on how dangerous it is ("we could end up in the middle of a sun") and after the jump they actually clap. So it seems like jumping is a big deal, but not much later it turns out that random civilian ships jump all around, and giving the impression that it is very routine to jump for a lot of ships. So what's the deal with that first jump?

  • 1
    It's been a long time since I've watched it, but I seem to recall them not having exact coordinates for the jump, making it a largely "blind jump". With out proper coordinates, jumping isn't safe. – phantom42 May 10 '15 at 15:59
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    IIRC, it was the first time Galactica had jumped in a long time, maybe years. – Joe L. May 10 '15 at 16:20
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    In the episode Lay Down Your Burdens Part 1, while on a rescue mission to Caprica to save survivors, Raptor 612 came out of FTL in the middle of a mountain. This indicates, even with calculations, FTL travel can be dangerous. Blind jumping can be wrought with obstacles. – Sareesataka Dec 27 '16 at 18:34
49

It appears that the major concerns are:

  • That the Battlestar Galactica hasn't used its FTL engines for over two decades;

  • That none of the current crew have been on board long enough to have used the ship's jump engines for real (although they've obviously drilled and trained for it);

  • The danger of jumping without a networked nav computer to do the calculations and transfer those results to the engines.

Interestingly, the original script made a much bigger thing out of the length of time since the Galactica used its FTL engines whereas the final show-script made more play out of the general danger of manually-computed jumping

Original Script:

Tigh looks at the display for a long beat, then notices that Adama is looking at him with an expectant expression. Takes him a moment, then he realizes what Adama is thinking.

TIGH: (are you crazy?) A sane man wouldn't. It's been what -- twenty years since this tub made a Jump?

ADAMA: Twenty-five.

TIGH: Twenty-five. Probably rats living in the FTL relays.


Show Script

Tigh: Because any sane man wouldn't. It's been, what, twenty, twenty-two years?

Adama: We trained for this.

Tigh: Training is one thing, but - if we're off in our calculations by even a few degrees, we could end up in the middle of the sun.

Adama: No choice. Colonel Tigh, please plot a hyperlight jump from our position to the orbit of Ragnar.

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    It always bothered me, that comment "we could end up in the middle of the sun". Yes, of course they could, but given the vastness of space, you could jump to a random point a hundred trillion times and never come anywhere close to a star, much less inside it. Sure, in this case, they're aiming for a planet, so they're trying to get close to a star, but even then, the star is a relatively small object compared with the amount of empty space in the system. The odds of ending up inside it are astronomically small. – Simba May 10 '17 at 14:48
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    @Simba - If you ship has a tendency to gravitate (pun intended) toward objects with a large mass shadow, hitting a star might not be as unlikely as it seems, not least because whatever direction you point your telescope in, eventually you'll hit a star. – Valorum May 10 '17 at 16:10
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    @Simba - The Cyranus system is supposedly a double binary star system with the Galactica running around one side of things away from the main fight. They need to jump past two stars to get to Ragnar (which appears to be dead center of their system). – Blackbeagle May 11 '17 at 3:44

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