Slipspace COM launcher
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The Slipspace communications (COM) launcher, formally known as an ultraprecise Shaw-Fujikawa low-mass launcher, is an experimental piece of technology invented by the United Nations Space Command that allows faster-than-light communication.
As of February 20th 2551, it was the only form of superluminal communications technology used by humans, excluding messages carried aboard starships. However, by July 2552, the UNSC had apparently developed a more effective form of superluminal communication system which enabled interstellar communications in real-time.[note 1]
After a communications probe is launched by an underground gauss accelerator, a Shaw-Fujikawa translight generator in high orbit creates a Slipspace rift. The probe enters the rift and travels through Slipspace like a "bullet" on an ultra-precise trajectory, and eventually drops back into normal space at its pre-set coordinates. The probe can traverse as far and as fast as any UNSC ship.
The wide-spread use of this technology could revolutionize long-distance communication; if each ship were outfitted with such a device, messages could be delivered without requiring a ship to travel through space to manually give the message. Unfortunately, the cost to build an ultra-precise low-mass launcher is comparable that of a fleet of ships, and even a single probe is worth the value of a capital city on one of the Outer Colonies.
As of November 2552, only three Slipspace COM launchers were known to exist: there was one on Earth and one on Reach, and a secret one on Onyx. The one on Reach was almost certainly destroyed during the fall of the planet, while the one on Onyx was destroyed by Sentinels after it sent a message to Earth.
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